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Near Zero Field Magnetoresistance Spectroscopy: A New Tool in Semiconductor Reliability Physics



Patrick Lenahan, Elias Frantz, Sean King, Mark Anders, Stephen Moxim, James P Ashton, Kenneth Myers, Michael Flatté, Nicholas Harmon


A relatively simple addition to many widely utilized semiconductor device characterization techniques can allow one to identify much of the atomic scale structure of point defects which play important roles in the electronic properties of the devices under study. This simple addition can also open up the possible exploration of the kinetics involved in some reliability phenomena as well as in multiple transport mechanisms. This addition is a small (0 to a few mT) time varying magnetic field centered upon zero field. A readily observable difference between various device responses at zero and small fields can be observed in a wide range of measurements often used in semiconductor device characterization. These measurements include MOSFET charge pumping, MOS gated diode recombination current, so called DCIV measurements, deep level transient spectroscopy, and simple current measurements in dielectric films and in pn junctions. Multiple materials systems of great technological interest can be explored with the techniques. They are based on near zero field magnetoresistance (NZFMR) phenomena, spin-based quantum effects involving magnetic field induced changes which occur in multiple electronic transport phenomena. Because these spin-based changes are strongly affected by fundamentally well understood spin-spin interactions such as electron-nuclear hyperfine interactions or electron-electron dipolar interactions, this NZFMR response has quite substantial analytical power. The NZFMR techniques can be gainfully applied to device structures based upon numerous materials systems, among them being silicon dioxide, silicon, silicon carbide, silicon nitride and amorphous SiOC:H films utilized in interlayer dielectrics.
Conference Dates
March 26-30, 2023
Conference Location
Monterey, CA, US
Conference Title
2023 IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium


MOSFETs, reliability


Lenahan, P. , Frantz, E. , King, S. , Anders, M. , Moxim, S. , Ashton, J. , Myers, K. , Flatté, M. and Harmon, N. (2023), Near Zero Field Magnetoresistance Spectroscopy: A New Tool in Semiconductor Reliability Physics, 2023 IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium , Monterey, CA, US, [online],, (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created May 15, 2023, Updated June 5, 2023