Damage to n-mOSFETs from electrical stress relationship to processing damage and impact on device reliability

L. Trabzon, O. O. Awadelkarim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The study reported herein examines and compares damage to n-channel and p-channel metal-oxide-silicon field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) from direct current (d.c.) and alternating current (a.c.) electrical stresses as well as the relationship of this damage to plasma processing damage in MOS-FETs. The lightly-doped drain (LDD) MOSFETs used are of 0.5 μm channel length and with a 90 Å thick thermally grown gate oxide fabricated using a full flow CMOS process up to and including metal-1 processes and post-metallization annealing (PMA). The damage to MOSFETs is assessed using transistor parameter characterization and charge-to-breakdown measurements on the gate oxide. It is found that manifestations of d.c. stress-induced damage and a.c. stress-induced damage to transistors are fairly similar in that both forms of damage are passivated by PMA and are reactivated by a subsequent d.c. electrical stress. However, a.c. stress-induced damage is observed to occur at much lower electric fields across the gate oxide than those necessary for d.c. stress-induced damage to be significant. This is attributed to a.c. currents, caused by carrier hopping, occurring at relatively low electric fields. One implication of our results is that plasma-charging damage, often attributed to d.c. electrical stress alone, may comprise an a.c. electrical stress component too.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-657
Number of pages7
JournalMicroelectronics Reliability
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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