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Experimental Characterization of Random Telegraph Noise and Hot Carrier Aging of Nano-scale MOSFETs

Manut, A (2020) Experimental Characterization of Random Telegraph Noise and Hot Carrier Aging of Nano-scale MOSFETs. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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One of the emerging challenges in the scaling of MOSFETs is the reliability of ultra-thin gate dielectrics. Various sources can cause device aging, such as hot carrier aging (HCA), negative bias temperature instability (NBTI), positive bias temperature instability (PBTI), and time dependent device breakdown (TDDB). Among them, hot carrier aging (HCA) has attracted much attention recently, because it is limiting the device lifetime. As the channel length of MOSFETs becomes smaller, the lateral electrical field increases and charge carriers become sufficiently energetic (“hot”) to cause damage to the device when they travel through the space charge region near the drain. Unlike aging that causes device parameters, such as threshold voltage, to drift in one direction, nano-scale devices also suffer from Random Telegraph Noise (RTN), where the current can fluctuate under fixed biases. RTN is caused by capturing/emitting charge carriers from/to the conduction channel. As the device sizes are reduced to the nano-meters, a single trap can cause substantial fluctuation in the current and threshold voltage. Although early works on HCA and RTN have improved the understanding, many issues remain unresolved and the aim of this project is to address these issues. The project is broadly divided into three parts: (i) an investigation on the HCA kinetics and how to predict HCA-induced device lifetime, (ii) a study of the interaction between HCA and RTN, and (iii) developing a new technique for directly measuring the RTN-induced jitter in the threshold voltage. To predict the device lifetime, a reliable aging kinetics is indispensable. Although early works show that HCA follows a power law, there are uncertainties in the extraction of the time exponent, making the prediction doubtful. A systematic experimental investigation was carried out in Chapter 4 and both the stress conditions and measurement parameters were carefully selected. It was found that the forward saturation current, commonly used in early work for monitoring HCA, leads to an overestimation of time exponents, because part of the damaged region is screened off by the space charges near the drain. Another source of errors comes from the inclusion of as-grown defects in the aging kinetics, which is not caused by aging. This leads to an underestimation of the time exponent. After correcting these errors, a reliable HCA kinetics is established and its predictive capability is demonstrated. There is confusion on how HCA and RTN interact and this is researched into in Chapter 5. The results show that for a device of average RTN, HCA only has a modest impact on RTN. RTN can either increase or decrease after HCA, depending on whether the local current under the RTN traps is rising or reducing. For a device of abnormally high RTN, RTN reduces substantially after HCA and the mechanism for this reduction is explored. The RTN-induced threshold voltage jitter, ∆Vth, is difficult to measure, as it is typically small and highly dynamic. Early works estimate this ∆Vth from the change in drain current and the accuracy of this estimation is not known. Chapter 6 focuses on developing a new ‘Trigger-When-Charged’ technique for directly measuring the RTN-induced ∆Vth. It will be shown that early works overestimate ∆Vth by a factor of two and the origin of this overestimation is investigated. This thesis consists of seven chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the project and its objectives. A literature review is given in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 covers the test facilities, measurement techniques, and devices used in this project. The main experimental results and analysis are given in Chapters 4-6, as described above. Finally, Chapter 7 concludes the project and discusses future works.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Random telegraph noise; Hot carrier aging; MOSFET
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: Engineering
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2020 11:16
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 10:38
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00014092
Supervisors: Zhang, J
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14092
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