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On the "intrinsic" breakdown of thick gate oxide



Kin (Charles) Cheung


Thick gate oxide breakdown mechanism becomes an important topic again due to the rising demand of power electronics. The failure of the percolation model in explaining the observed Weibull shape factor of thick oxide breakdown distribution seriously hampers the establishment of thick gate oxide breakdown model and the ability to project reliability from measurement data. In this work, this failure is explained, based on the percolation model itself, by the existence of oxygen vacancy defects dictated by thermal dynamics even for the best quality gate oxide. Thick oxide is hypersensitive to even low level of defects while thin oxide does not. This explains why thick oxide breakdown produces Weibull shape factor much lower than predicted by the percolation model. A couple of other mysteries are also explained.
Journal of Applied Physics


thick oxide, breakdown, oxygen vacancy, percolation model, Weibull slope, trap-assisted-tunneling


Cheung, K. (2022), On the "intrinsic" breakdown of thick gate oxide, Journal of Applied Physics, [online],, (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created October 12, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022