Many industries heavily rely upon advances in electronic devices. As development of electronics continues, new structures and new materials are being utilised. The reliability of these new technologies therefore need to meet the same high levels as the traditional technologies that they are replacing.
Industries such as space and nuclear in particular, face an additional challenge affecting the reliability of their electrical devices; radiation. Ionizing radiation in particular can damage dielectric layers in devices such as metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) transistors and resistive memories. In either case, controlling the radiation effects of dielectrics is essential for the reliability of these devices.
High-k MOS capacitors have been fabricated, analysed and irradiated. TiN/HfOx/Si structures in particular showed superior properties in comparison with silicon dioxide stacks, including high capacitance with low leakage. The ionizing radiation results indicate the high-k metal gate structures are just as radiation hard as the silicon dioxide structures. This verifies the high-k metal gate structures can be used as a replacement for silicon dioxide gate oxides, enabling the scaling limit in CMOS industry to be overcome.
A variety of resistive memory cells are fabricated whereby the effects of the interfacial layers, electrodes and insulator are investigated. Electrochemical metallization memory cells switching kinetics are investigated whereby the switching mechanism is analysed. VCM and ECM radiation responses are also investigated.