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Annealing Effects on the Charging–Discharging Mechanism in Trilayer Al2O3/Ge/Al2O3 Memory Structures

Cite this: ACS Appl. Electron. Mater. 2024, 6, 2, 978–986
Publication Date (Web):January 17, 2024
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaelm.3c01454
Copyright © 2024 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    For the development of memory devices for the continuous advancement of IT engineering, a good understanding of the charging–discharging mechanisms in nanocrystalline floating gate memories is crucial to overcoming the current limitations. The charging–discharging mechanism in Al2O3/Ge/Al2O3 trilayer memory structures obtained by magnetron sputtering deposition is investigated as a function of the postdeposition annealing temperature, up to 900 °C. The change by annealing of CV hysteresis curves from a clockwise type at low temperatures to counterclockwise one in a sample annealed within the intermediary temperature range of 550 to 650 °C, and then, a return to a clockwise type for annealing within the higher temperature range of 800–900 °C was observed. Up to 700 °C, memory performances are constantly improved reaching for 600 °C annealed samples, a memory window of 5.6 V for voltage sweep in the range −1 to +15 V, and good retention characteristics for 650 °C annealed structures, in which the charge loss is only ∼2% after 108 s. When the annealing temperature was increased above 700 °C, a rapid decrease in the memory performance takes place. The annealing-induced changes are explained based on the Ge fast diffusion and nanocrystallization process, in correlation with morphological and structural high-resolution transmission electron microscopy results.

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