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Electroluminescence in silicon nanocrystals fabricated by ion beam mixing and annealing of gate oxide/silicon interfaces

Schmidt, B.; Heinig, K.-H.; Beyer, V.; Stegemann, K.-H.

A light emitting field-effect transistor (LEFET) which is based on silicon nanocrystals in the gate oxide is demonstrated. The Si nanocrystals in the gate oxide were optimized for a multi-dot floating-gate nonvolatile memory operation [1]. For this aim, ion irradiation through the MOSFET stack of 50 nm poly-Si/15 nm SiO2/Si substrate was performed with 50 keV Si+ ions. The ion beam mixing of the upper poly-Si/SiO2 interface and the lower SiO2/(001)Si interface leads to Si excess in the gate oxide. Subsequent rapid thermal annealing reforms sharp interfaces and separates the excess Si from SiO2. Adjacent to the recovered interfaces, 3-4 nm thick SiO2 zones denuded completely of excess Si have been found, whereas the more distant tails of excess Si form well-aligned narrow layers of nanocrystals with 2-3 nm diameter. LEFETs with an active gate area of 20x20 µm2 were fabricated as nMOSFET devices in a standard 0.6 µm CMOS process line. An AC voltage was applied to the gate in order to inject charges of both polarities into the lower and upper Si nanocrystal layer from the channel and the poly-Si gate of the transistor, respectively. AC voltage and frequency dependent electroluminescence spectra were recorded in the wavelength region of 400-1000 nm as a function of the annealing conditions. The performance of the LEFETs and further possibilities of optimization of efficient light emission will be discussed.
[1] B. Schmidt, et al. Nucl. Instr. and Meth. B 242 (2006) 146.

Keywords: Silicon nanocrystals; electroluminescence; light emitting field-effect transistor

  • Lecture (Conference)
    E-MRS Spring Meeting, 26.-30.05.2008, Strasbourg, France

Publ.-Id: 12175