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Memory properties and charge effect study in Si nanocrystals by scanning capacitance microscopy and spectroscopy

Zhen Lin1*, Georges Bremond1 and Franck Bassani2

Author Affiliations

1 Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon, UMR 5270, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Bât. Blaise Pascal, 20, avenue Albert Einstein - 69621 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

2 Institut Matériaux Microélectronique Nanosciences de Provence, UMR CNRS 6242, Avenue Escadrille Normandie-Niemen-Case 142, F-13397 Marseille Cedex 20, France

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:163  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-163

Published: 22 February 2011


In this letter, isolated Si nanocrystal has been formed by dewetting process with a thin silicon dioxide layer on top. Scanning capacitance microscopy and spectroscopy were used to study the memory properties and charge effect in the Si nanocrystal in ambient temperature. The retention time of trapped charges injected by different direct current (DC) bias were evaluated and compared. By ramp process, strong hysteresis window was observed. The DC spectra curve shift direction and distance was observed differently for quantitative measurements. Holes or electrons can be separately injected into these Si-ncs and the capacitance changes caused by these trapped charges can be easily detected by scanning capacitance microscopy/spectroscopy at the nanometer scale. This study is very useful for nanocrystal charge trap memory application.