While electron devices have long been important research areas at NIST, these devices and the associated materials advance quickly with new technologies always on the horizon. Thus, there is an ever-present need to develop and redefine new metrology tools and understand new physical phenomena to maximize performance and resiliency in the newest and most promising technologies. This requires a strong and fundamental understanding of: (1) the underlying device physics, (2) atomic-scale defects and imperfections, and (3) various metrology tools and associated phenomena.
The Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Device Metrology Project strives to be at the forefront of understanding the roles that critical atomic-scale defects play in determining device performance and resiliency.
- Development of highly sensitive magnetic resonance techniques, dubbed high definition electron spin resonance (HD-ESR) that provide un-paralleled access to the chemical and physical nature of atomic scale defects that limit device performance and resiliency.
- Implementation of an electrically-detected HD-ESR spectrometer into a commercial wafer probing station for studying fully processed device structures. Transforms ESR spectroscopy into a ubiquitous metrology tool.
- HD-ESR activities related to soft matter studies of naturally occurring free radicals, purposely labeled biomolecular structures, and radiation dosimetry.
- Circuit speed (≥ 2 GHz) resiliency metrology that enables individual device failure to be evaluated in a highly realistic "circuit" environments. Allows one to determine the impact of device degradation on the critical timing of random logic circuitry.
- Development and refinement of the ubiquitous "charge pumping" measurement concept. Continuously adapting the metrology methods to suit modern needs while developing an improved physics-based understanding.
- Development of high speed characterization metrology to study resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices. Understanding the fast forming transients and switching characteristics are critical to commercializing RRAM as a memory technology and for use in alternative computing (i.e., neuromorphic).