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Open Access Nano Express

Charge storage characteristics of Au nanocrystal memory improved by the oxygen vacancy-reduced HfO2 blocking layer

Ruifan Tang, Kai Huang*, Hongkai Lai*, Cheng Li, Zhiming Wu and Junyong Kang

Author Affiliations

Semiconductor Photonics Research Center, Department of Physics, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:368  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-368

Published: 28 August 2013

Abstract

This study characterizes the charge storage characteristics of metal/HfO2/Au nanocrystals (NCs)/SiO2/Si and significantly improves memory performance and retention time by annealing the HfO2 blocking layer in O2 ambient at 400°C. Experimental evidence shows that the underlying mechanism can be effectively applied to reduce oxygen vacancy and suppress unwanted electron trap-assisted tunneling. A memory window of 1 V at an applied sweeping voltage of ±2 V is also shown. The low program/erase voltage (±2 V) and the promising retention performances indicate the potential application of NCs in low-voltage, non-volatile memory devices.

Keywords:
Memory performance; Oxygen deficiency; Annealing; Non-volatile memory; 85.35.-p; 61.72.Cc