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Proceedings Paper

Scanning capacitance detection and charge trapping in NOS
Author(s): Bruce D. Terris; Rick Barrett; H. Jonathon Mamin
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Paper Abstract

Charge trapping in thin films of silicon nitride has long been studied for use as a non-volatile semiconductor memory. Recently, this technology has been combined with scanned probe technologies with the sharp probe tip serving as the upper electrode in a Si3N4- SiO2Si (NOS) structure. By applying a voltage pulse between the tip and silicon substrate, charge carriers can be made to tunnel through the oxide and be trapped in the nitride. This trapped charge causes a shift in the capacitance-voltage curve along the voltage axis; the voltage at which depletion occurs is increased. It has been proposed that such a system could be used as a high density data storage device. We have begun to explore some of the issues related to such an application, including data lifetime and data rates. In thermally accelerated life tests, no sign of charge spreading was seen after 100 days at 150 degree(s)C and from the rate of charge decay we would predict room temperature lifetimes in excess of 1 million years. We have also used an air-bearing spindle to conduct high speed measurements on a spinning NOS sample and obtained data rates as high as 500 kHz with carrier-to-noise ratios of approximately 60 dB in a 3 kHz bandwidth.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 June 1993
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 1855, Scanning Probe Microscopies II, (4 June 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.146377
Show Author Affiliations
Bruce D. Terris, IBM Almaden Research Ctr. (United States)
Rick Barrett, IBM Almaden Research Ctr. (United States)
H. Jonathon Mamin, IBM Almaden Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1855:
Scanning Probe Microscopies II
Clayton C. Williams, Editor(s)

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