Radiation Hardened Nondestructive Read Out (NDRO) Ce(x)Mn(y)O(3) Ferroelectric Based EEPROM Memory

Period of Performance: 04/11/2003 - 04/11/2005

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Structured Materials Industries
201 Circle Drive North Unit # 102
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Principal Investigator

Abstract

SMI has discovered a new ferroelectric material, CexMnyO3 (CMO), that, for the first time, will allow nonvolatile ferroelectric memories to be formed directly on silicon - greatly simplifying the cell geometry and thus increasing density and performance - all while eliminating manufacturing steps and thus reducing costs. Heretofore, all ferroelectric memories have required a silicon / ferroelectric interlayer barrier electrode to be used. The material was demonstrated using SMI's SpinCVDTM Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) techniques. The ferroelectric layer is crystallized into a perovskite at a suitable temperature for direct integrated circuit front-end process insertion and has produced a nonvolatile memory without use of metal electrodes. The most compelling aspects are that the ferroelectric phase can be grown directly on silicon and that the dielectric constant of the ferroelectric film is relatively low (more than an order of magnitude lower that PZT, ranging between 20 and 100 depending upon polarization state) and 25 times higher than silicon oxide. The low perovskite crystallization temperature and compatibility of the films with silicon make CMOs ideal for a ferroelectric field effect transistors (FEFET) simulating a DRAM cell. We propose to build upon the Phase I effort by manufacturing an EEPROM 1-transistor (FeFET) memory that is scaleable for very high-density memories. This FEFET design will allow a FE memory to rival stacked-gate Flash cells in density, but without the drawbacks of floating gate technology. We will work with a proven Rad-Hard device production company and other experts in the field to ensure a commercializable process and product. We will combine the SMI ferroelectric with our partner's device radiation designs for product manufacture. Phase III will be a manufacturing partnership producing drop-in Radiation Hard nonvolatile memory devices.