Tunable bandgap energy of fluorinated nanocrystals for flash memory applications produced by low-damage plasma treatment

Chi Hsien Huang*, Chih Ting Lin, Jer Chyi Wang, Chien Chou, Yu Ren Ye, Bing Ming Cheng, Chao Sung Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A plasma system with a complementary filter to shield samples from damage during tetrafluoromethane (CF 4) plasma treatment was proposed in order to incorporate fluorine atoms into gadolinium oxide nanocrystals (Gd 2O 3-NCs) for flash memory applications. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed that fluorine atoms were successfully introduced into the Gd 2O 3-NCs despite the use of a filter in the plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition system to shield against several potentially damaging species. The number of incorporated fluorine atoms can be controlled by varying the treatment time. The optimized memory window of the resulting flash memory devices was twice that of devices treated by a filterless system because more fluorine atoms were incorporated into the Gd 2O 3-NCs film with very little damage. This enlarged the bandgap energy from 5.48 to 6.83eV, as observed by ultraviolet absorption measurements. This bandgap expansion can provide a large built-in electric field that allows more charges to be stored in the Gd 2O 3-NCs. The maximum improvement in the retention characteristic was >60%. Because plasma damage during treatment is minimal, maximum fluorination can be achieved. The concept of simply adding a filter to a plasma system to prevent plasma damage exhibits great promise for functionalization or modification of nanomaterials for advanced nanoelectronics while introducing minimal defects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number475201
JournalNanotechnology
Volume23
Issue number47
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 11 2012

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