Breakdown modes and their evolution in ultrathin gate oxide

Horng-Chih Lin*, Da Yuan Lee, Tiao Yuan Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Post-breakdown current-voltage characteristics of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) devices with an ultrathin gate oxide layer have been carefully studied. Several breakdown modes were identified. Specifically, it was found that the typical soft-breakdown mode induced in an oxide layer thinner than 3 nm is actually quite different from that in an oxide layer thicker than 3 nm. Based on these findings, we have also proposed a model to explain the evolution of different breakdown modes. The model takes into consideration the thermal runaway process at the breakdown moment, and is substantiated by a number of experimental findings. Impacts of each breakdown mode on device switching behavior are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5957-5963
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2002


  • Hard breakdown
  • Metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS)
  • Soft breakdown
  • Ultrathin gate oxide

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