Enhanced non-volatile memory characteristics with quattro-layer graphene nanoplatelets vs. 2.85-nm Si nanoparticles with asymmetric Al2O3/HfO2 tunnel oxide

Date
2015
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Source Title
Nanoscale Research Letters
Print ISSN
1931-7573
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Springer New York LLC
Volume
10
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1
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Language
English
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Abstract

In this work, we demonstrate a non-volatile metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) memory with Quattro-layer graphene nanoplatelets as charge storage layer with asymmetric Al2O3/HfO2 tunnel oxide and we compare it to the same memory structure with 2.85-nm Si nanoparticles charge trapping layer. The results show that graphene nanoplatelets with Al2O3/HfO2 tunnel oxide allow for larger memory windows at the same operating voltages, enhanced retention, and endurance characteristics. The measurements are further confirmed by plotting the energy band diagram of the structures, calculating the quantum tunneling probabilities, and analyzing the charge transport mechanism. Also, the required program time of the memory with ultra-thin asymmetric Al2O3/HfO2 tunnel oxide with graphene nanoplatelets storage layer is calculated under Fowler-Nordheim tunneling regime and found to be 4.1 ns making it the fastest fully programmed MOS memory due to the observed pure electrons storage in the graphene nanoplatelets. With Si nanoparticles, however, the program time is larger due to the mixed charge storage. The results confirm that band-engineering of both tunnel oxide and charge trapping layer is required to enhance the current non-volatile memory characteristics.

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