Journal article Open Access

Conductive atomic force microscopy studies of thin SiO[sub 2] layer degradation

Fiorenza, Patrick; Polspoel, Wouter; Vandervorst, Wilfried

The dielectric degradation of ultrathin 2 nm silicon dioxide SiO2 layers has been investigated by constant and ramped voltage stresses with the conductive atomic force microscopy CAFM. CAFM imaging shows clearly the lateral degradation propagation and its saturation. Current-voltage characteristics, performed at nanometer scale, show the trap creation rate in function of the stress condition. The critical trap density has been found.

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