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High Temperature Reliability Investigations of EEPROM Memory Cells Realised in Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) Technology
Keywords: EEPROM, Reliability, SOI
Microelectronic manufacturing progresses not only towards further miniaturisation, but also application fields tend to become more and more diverse. Recently there has been an increasing demand for electronic devices and circuits that function in harsh environments such as high temperatures. Under these conditions, reliability aspects are highly critical and testing remains a great challenge. A versatile CMOS process based on 200 mm thin film Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) wafers is in production at Fraunhofer IMS. It features three layers of tungsten metallisation for optimum electromigration reliability, voltage independent capacitors, high resistance resistors and single-poly-EEPROM cells. Non-volatile memories such as EEPROMs are a key technology that enables flexible data storage, for example of calibration and measurement information. The reliability of these devices is especially crucial in high temperature applications since charge loss is drastically increased in this case. The behaviour of single-poly-EEPROM cells, produced in the process described before, was evaluated up to 450 °C. Data retention tests at temperatures ranging from 160 °C to 450 °C and write/erase cycling tests up to 250 °C (up to 450 °C is in preparation) were performed. The dependence of write/erase cycling on both temperature and tunnel oxide thickness was studied. These data provide an important foundation to extend the application of high temperature electronics to its maximum limits. They show that EEPROM cells can be used for special applications even at temperatures higher than 250 °C.
Katharina Grella, Research Fellow / Ph.D Student
Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS
Duisburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen 47057,

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