Thin Solid Films, Vol.518, No.24, 7339-7342, 2010
Nonvolatile memory effect of tungsten nanocrystals under oxygen plasma treatments
In this work, an oxygen plasma treatment was used to improve the memory effect of nonvolatile W nanocrystal memory, including memory window, retention and endurance. To investigate the role of the oxygen plasma treatment in charge storage characteristics, the X-ray photon-emission spectra (XPS) were performed to analyze the variation of chemical composition for W nanocrystal embedded oxide both with and without the oxygen plasma treatment. In addition, the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses were also used to identify the microstructure in the thin film and the size and density of W nanocrystals. The device with the oxygen plasma treatment shows a significant improvement of charge storage effect, because the oxygen plasma treatment enhanced the quality of silicon oxide surrounding the W nanocrystals. Therefore, the data retention and endurance characteristics were also improved by the passivation. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.