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Temperature Dependence of Soft Breakdown and Wear-Out in Sub-3 nm SiO2 Films



John S. Suehle, Eric M. Vogel, Bin Wang, J B. Bernstein


A comprehensive time-dependent dielectric breakdown study was conducted on sub-3 nm SiO2 films over a temperature range from 22 0C to 350 0C. Two breakdown modes were observed in current versus time characteristics and low voltage I-V curves depending on device area and stress voltage. Larger device areas and lower stress voltage produced higher occurrences of soft/noisy breakdown eventswhile smaller device areas and larger stress voltages produced harder/thermal breakdown events. Stress temperature did not affect the breakdown mode. The results indicate that both breakdown modes exhibit the same thermal aceleration if the first occurrence of current noise is used as a breakdown criteria for those devices exhibiting noisy breakdown. The observed strong dependence of the thermal activation energy on gate voltage may explain previous reports of increased temperature acceleration for ultra-thin films.
Proceedings Title
Proc. 2000 International Reliability Physics Symposium
Conference Dates
April 10-13, 2000
Conference Location
San Jose, CA, USA


silicon dioxide, thermal acceleration, breakdown, reliability


Suehle, J. , Vogel, E. , Wang, B. and Bernstein, J. (2000), Temperature Dependence of Soft Breakdown and Wear-Out in Sub-3 nm SiO<sub>2</sub> Films, Proc. 2000 International Reliability Physics Symposium, San Jose, CA, USA (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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Created December 30, 2000, Updated October 12, 2021