, Volume 78, Issue 8, pp 1181-1186
Date: 28 Jan 2004

Charge-storage effects in a metal-insulator-semi-conductor structure containing germanium nano-crystals formed by rapid thermal annealing of an electron-beam evaporated germanium layer

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Abstract

Charge-storage effects in a metal-insulator-semi-conductor device containing germanium (Ge) nano-crystals were investigated. The Ge nano-crystals were formed by rapid thermal annealing (RTA) of an evaporated, ultra-thin Ge layer at 1000 °C in argon. Capacitance–voltage measurements shows that the amount of electrical charge which can be stored in the device varies with the duration of the RTA treatment. The charge shows a maximum value for 200 s RTA treatment, and then decreases with longer annealing time up to 400 s. Atomic force microscopy analysis indicates that there is a correlation between the density of Ge nano-crystals in the devices, and the amount of electrical charge stored. For an RTA treatment of 300 s, capacitance–time measurements show a time dependence, which indicates a dispersive carrier relaxation. The retention time is dependent on the applied bias, and a maximum retention time of ∼115 s was observed at -7 V. The value of the stored electrical charges in the device decreases with increasing ambient temperature. A possible charging/discharging mechanism for the device was discussed to explain the capacitance–time measurements and the temperature stored charge results.

PACS

81.07.Ta; 81.15.Jj; 73.63.Kv; 85.35.Be; 81.40.Ef