Electrical characterization of the soft breakdown failure mode in MgO layers
Miranda, E. and O'Connor, E. and Cherkaoui, K. and Monaghan, S. and Long, R. and O’Connell, Deborah and Hurley, P.K. and Hughes, Greg and Casey, Patrick (2009) Electrical characterization of the soft breakdown failure mode in MgO layers. Applied Physics Letters, 95 (1). 012901-1. ISSN 0003-6951
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The soft breakdown (SBD) failure mode in 20 nm thick MgO dielectric layers grown on Si substrates was investigated. We show that during a constant voltage stress, charge trapping and progressive breakdown coexist, and that the degradation dynamics is captured by a power-law time dependence. We also show that the SBD current-voltage (I-V) characteristics follow the power-law model I = aVb typical of this conduction mechanism but in a wider voltage window than the one reported in the past for SiO2. The relationship between the magnitude of the current and the normalized differential conductance was analyzed.
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