A novel technique combination of ion bombardment (IB) and NH 3 plasma treatment (PT) has been presented to yield a highly effective charge storage layer for Si/SiO2/Si3N4/SiO2/Si (SONOS)-type nonvolatile memory applications. The IB technique creates additional trap sites within the charge storage layer strikingly to enhance the charge trapping/detrapping efficiency of the storage layer, and the NH 3 PT passivates shallow trap sites significantly to improve reliability characteristics. The distribution of trap sites corresponding with various energy levels is clearly described by discharge-based multipulse analysis. As compared with the control sample (without IB and NH 3 PT), the ion-bombarded and NH 3-plasma- passivated memory device has faster program/erase speeds and larger memory window. In addition, the competent reliability properties of the ion-bombarded and NH 3-plasma-passivated memory, such as good endurance, long data retention, and acceptable disturbance, were also demonstrated in this letter.
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