Simulation of Program/Erase and Capacitance-Voltage Characteristics of Metal Nanocrystal Memory

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Using a transient electrical model, the charging and discharging processes in a metal nanocrystal (NC) memory were theoretically simulated. In this model, the impact of Si surface potential, Coulomb blockade effect, quantum confinement effect and thermal excitation were taken into account. Quantum confinement and Coulomb blockade effects of NCs were found to be negligible for the present structure. The simulating results indicate that a 1.4-nm tunnel oxide layer is enough to guarantee 10 years retention time for a 5-nm Au NC, and the program/erase time can reach 100 ns at 10 V applied voltage. The larger size NC can be programmed faster and has the longer retention time. The charge storage effect caused by NCs has great influence on capacitance-voltage (C-V) characteristics of NC memory. The flat band voltage shift ΔV FB and the charge density Q nc in NCs are greatly dependent on the sweep rate dV/dt. As the sweep rate decreases from 10 to 0.01 V/s, ΔV FB increases from 0.04 to 2.35 V, and Q nc increases from 0.014 to 0.8 μC/cm2. In addition, when the tunnel oxide thickness decreases from 3.0 to 2.4 nm, ΔV FB increases from 0.047 to 2.36 V.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2011

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  • Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience is an international peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all aspects of computational and theoretical nanoscience into a single reference source. This journal offers scientists and engineers peer-reviewed research papers in all aspects of computational and theoretical nanoscience and nanotechnology in chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering and biology to publish original full papers and timely state-of-the-art reviews and short communications encompassing the fundamental and applied research.
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