Electrical characterization of the soft breakdown failure mode in MgO layers

Miranda, E.; O'Connor, E.; Cherkaoui, K.; Monaghan, S.; Long, R.; O'Connell, D.; Hurley, P. K.; Hughes, G.; Casey, P.
July 2009
Applied Physics Letters;7/6/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 1, p012901
Academic Journal
The soft breakdown (SBD) failure mode in 20 nm thick MgO dielectric layers grown on Si substrates was investigated. We show that during a constant voltage stress, charge trapping and progressive breakdown coexist, and that the degradation dynamics is captured by a power-law time dependence. We also show that the SBD current-voltage (I-V) characteristics follow the power-law model I=aVb typical of this conduction mechanism but in a wider voltage window than the one reported in the past for SiO2. The relationship between the magnitude of the current and the normalized differential conductance was analyzed.


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