Reduced hydrogen diffusion in strained amorphous SiO2: understanding ageing in MOSFET devices

SA Sheikholeslam and H Manzano and C Grecu and A Ivanov, JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY C, 4, 8104-8110 (2016).

DOI: 10.1039/c6tc02647h

Negative Bias Temperature Instability (NBTI) is one of the main ageing processes in MOSFET devices, and it is related among others to H diffusion within the SiO2 dielectric layer of the device. In this work we use molecular simulations to study the underlying mechanism that governs the diffusion of H within SiO2, and suggest how to modify the material to decrease it. The computed diffusion activation energies are in excellent agreement with existing experimental data, and the analysis of the diffusion paths reveals a H hopping mechanism governed by the same orientational constraints as proton exchange in bulk water. Based on this mechanism, we test a hypothetical NBTI ageing retarding modification based on a mechanical deformation of the SiO2 dielectric. Stretching of the material induces a rearrangement of the silicate units, increasing the O-O distance, and consequently the activation energy required for H diffusion. Hence, stretching of the semiconductor during the MOSFET manufacturing process could reduce significantly the NBTI-driven ageing of the devices.

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