Charging behavior of silicon nitride based non-volatile memory structures with embedded semiconductor nanocrystals

Zs J. Horváth, P. Basa, T. Jászi, K. Z. Molnár, A. E. Pap, Gy Molnár

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


The charging behavior of MNS (metal-nitride-silicon) and MNOS (metal-nitride-oxide-silicon) structures containing Si or Ge nanocrystals were studied by capacitance-voltage (C-V) and memory window measurements and by simulation. Both the width of hysteresis of C-V characteristics and the injected charge exhibited exponential dependence on the charging voltage at moderate voltage values, while at high voltages the width of hysteresis of C-V characteristics and the injected charge exhibited saturation. The memory window for reference MNS structure without nanocrystals was wider than that for reference MNOS structures. The presence of nanocrystals enhanced the charging behavior of MNOS structures, but in MNS structures nanocrystals exhibited the opposite effect. The main conclusion is that the presence of nanocrystals or other deep levels close to the Si surface enhances the charge injection properties due to the increased tunneling probability, but nanocrystals or other deep levels located far from the Si surface in the nitride layer do not enhance, but even can degrade the charging behavior by the capture of charge carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013



  • MNOS
  • Memory behavior
  • Si and Ge nanocrystals
  • Silicon nitride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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