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Integrated low-temperature process for the fabrication of amorphous Si nanoparticles embedded in Al2O3 for non-volatile memory application (Phys. Status Solidi A 9∕2016)

: Ilse, K.; Schneider, T.; Ziegler, J.; Sprafke, A.; Wehrspohn, R.B.


Physica status solidi. A 213 (2016), No.9, pp.2540
ISSN: 0031-8965
ISSN: 1862-6300
ISSN: 1521-396X
ISSN: 1862-6319
Journal Article
Fraunhofer CSP ()

Among electronic devices, flash memory is one of the most aggressively scaled technologies, already approaching minimum limits of miniaturization. The nano-floating-gate memory (NFGM), which is based on semiconductor or metal nanoparticles embedded in a dielectric matrix, is regarded as one promising route for future nonvolatile memory applications. In their article on pp. 2446–2451, Ilse et al. present a new fabrication process for multilayers of silicon nanoparticles (Si–NPs) embedded in amorphous Al2O3, combining a nonthermal low-pressure inductively coupled plasma process (LPICP) for Si–NPs and thermalatomic layer deposition (ALD) of Al2O3. This low-temperature process provides some advantages compared to common fabrication techniques of Si–NPs in Al2O3, which mostly include annealing steps with temperatures up to 1150 °C to enable Si–NP formation. At temperatures above 800 °C, the number of the typical fixed oxide charges in amorphous Al2O3 vanishes due to crystallization processes. The influence of the fixed oxide charges in Al2O3 on the programming process and retention is investigated and discussed as possibility to enhance long-term storage of information.