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Open Access Nano Express

Gadolinium oxide nanocrystal nonvolatile memory with HfO2/Al2O3 nanostructure tunneling layers

Jer-Chyi Wang*, Chih-Ting Lin and Chia-Hsin Chen

Author Affiliations

Department of Electronic Engineering, Chang Gung University, No. 259, Wen-Hua 1st Road, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan, 333, Taiwan, Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:177  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-177

Published: 8 March 2012

Abstract

In this study, Gd2O3 nanocrystal (Gd2O3-NC) memories with nanostructure tunneling layers are fabricated to examine their performance. A higher programming speed for Gd2O3-NC memories with nanostructure tunneling layers is obtained when compared with that of memories using a single tunneling layer. A longer data retention (< 15% charge loss after 104 s) is also observed. This is due to the increased physical thickness of the nanostructure tunneling layer. The activation energy of charge loss at different temperatures is estimated. The higher activation energy value (0.13 to 0.17 eV) observed at the initial charge loss stage is attributed to the thermionic emission mechanism, while the lower one (0.07 to 0.08 eV) observed at the later charge loss stage is attributed to the direct tunneling mechanism. Gd2O3-NC memories with nanostructure tunneling layers can be operated without degradation over several operation cycles. Such NC structures could potentially be used in future nonvolatile memory applications.

Keywords:
NVMs; Gd2O3; nanocrystal; nanostructure; HfO2/Al2O3; tunneling layer