Chemical and electrical characteristics of Ti-based nanocrystals containing germanium, fabricated by annealing the co-sputtered thin film with titanium silicide and germanium targets, were demonstrated for low temperature applications of nonvolatile memory. Formation and composition characteristics of nanocrystals (NCs) at various annealing temperatures were examined by transmission electron microscopy and X-ray photon-emission spectroscopy, respectively. It was observed that the addition of germanium (Ge) significantly reduces the proposed thermal budget necessary for Ti-based NC formation due to the rise of morphological instability and agglomeration properties during annealing. NC structures formed after annealing at 500 degrees C, and separated well at 600 degrees C annealing. However, it was also observed that significant thermal desorption of Ge atoms occurs at 600 degrees C due to the sublimation of formatted GeO phase and results in a serious decrease of memory window. Therefore, an approach to effectively restrain Ge thermal desorption is proposed by encapsulating the Ti-based trapping layer with a thick silicon oxide layer before 600 degrees C annealing. The electrical characteristics of data retention in the sample with the 600 degrees C annealing exhibited better performance than the 500 C-annealed sample, a result associated with the better separation and better crystallization of the NC structures. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Nonvolatile memory; Nanocrystals; Germanosilicide; Titanium; Sputtering; Transmission electron microscopy; X-ray photoelectron microscopy
- LAYER-DEPOSITION SYSTEM; THIN-FILMS; TITANIUM GERMANOSILICIDE; SILICON DIOXIDE; CHARGE STORAGE; XPS; STABILITY; IMPLANTATION; SI1-XGEX; DEVICE