Memory effect and retention property of Ge nanocrystal embedded Hf-aluminate high-k gate dielectric

P. F. Lee, X. B. Lu, Jiyan Dai, H. L W Chan, Emil Jelenkovic, K. Y. Tong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The memory effect and retention characteristics of a Ge nanocrystal (NC) floating gate memory structure consisting of Hf-aluminate (HfAlO) tunnelling and control oxides have been investigated by means of high-frequency capacitance-voltage (C-V) and capacitance-time (C-t) measurements. The trilayer structure (HfAlO/Ge-NC/HfAlO) on Si was fabricated by pulsed-laser deposition at a relatively low temperature. A high-resolution transmission electron microscopy study revealed that the Ge nanocrystals are about 5 nm in diameter and are well distributed within the amorphous HfAlO matrix. The memory effect was revealed by the counter-clockwise hysteresis loop in the C-V curves and a high storage charge density of about 1 × 1013 cm-2 and a large flat-band voltage shift of 3.6 V have been achieved. An 8% decay in capacitance after 104 s in the C-t measurement suggests a promising retention property of Ge NC charge storage. The effects of size/density of the Ge NC, the tunnelling and control oxide layer thicknesses and their growth oxygen partial pressure to the charge storage and charge retention characteristics have been studied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1202-1206
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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