Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial Engineering

Major Professor

Way Kuo, Yue Kuo

Committee Members

Xiaoyan Zhu, Xueping Li, Peter K. Liaw


The evolution of the MOSFET technology has been driven by the aggressive shrinkage of the device size to improve the device performance and to increase the circuit density. Currently, many research demonstrated that the continuous polycrystalline silicon film in the floating-gate dielectric could be replaced with nanocrystal (nc) embedded high-k thin film to minimize the charge loss due to the defective thin tunnel dielectric layer.

This research deals with both the statistical aspect of reliability and electrical aspect of reliability characterization as well. In this study, the Zr-doped HfO2 (ZrHfO) high-k MOS capacitors, which separately contain the nanocrystalline zinc oxide (nc-ZnO), silicon (nc-Si), Indium Tin Oxide (nc-ITO) and ruthenium (nc-Ru) are studied on their memory properties, charge transportation mechanism, ramp-relax test, accelerated life tests, failure rate estimation and thermal effect on the above reliability properties.

C-V hysteresis result show that the amount of charges trapped in nanocrystal embedded films is in the order of nc-ZnO>nc-Ru>nc-Si~nc-ITO, which might probably be influenced by the EOT of each sample. In addition, all the results show that the nc-ZnO embedded ZrHfO non-volatile memory capacitor has the best memory property and reliability. In this study, the optimal burn-in time for this kind of device has been also investigated with nonparametric Bayesian analysis. The results show the optimal burn-in period for nc-ZnO embedded high-k device is 5470s with the maximum one-year mission reliability.

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