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O-Vacancies in (i) Nano-Crystalline HfO2 and (i) Non-Crystalline SiO2 and Si3N4 Studied by X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy

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Performance and reliability in semiconductor devices are limited by electronically active defects, primarily O-atom and N-atom vacancies. Synchrotron X-ray spectroscopy results, interpreted in the context of two-electron multiplet theories, have been used to analyze conduction band edge, and O-vacancy defect states in nano-crystalline transition metal oxides, e.g., HfO2, and the noncrystalline dielectrics, SiO2, Si3N4 and Si-oxynitride alloys. Two-electron multiplet theory been used to develop a high-spin state equivalent d2 model for O-vacancy allowed transitions and negative ion states as detected by X-ray absorption spectroscopy in the O K pre-edge regime. Comparisons between theory and experiment have used Tanabe-Sugano energy level diagrams for determining the symmetries and relative energies of intra-d-state transitions for an equivalent d2 ground state occupancy. Trap-assisted-tunneling, Poole-Frenkel hopping transport, and the negative bias temperature instability have been explained in terms of injection and/or trapping into O-atom and N-atom vacancy sites, and applied to gate dielectric, and metal-insulator-metal structures.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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