Conductive atomic force microscopy as a tool to reveal high ionising dose effects on ultra thin SiO2/Si structures

Richard Arinero, A. D. Touboul, M. Ramonda, C. Guasch, Y. Gonzalez-Velo, J. Boch, F. Saigné

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The electrical stress behaviour of non-irradiated and irradiated (2 to 7-nm thick) SiO2/Si structures is investigated using conductive-atomic force microscopy. A protocol based on the successive application of two ramped-voltage stresses (RVS) on each test point is performed. The environmental implementation conditions of such an experiment are then investigated. A statistical approach based on the use of Weibull distributions is also adopted. Before irradiation, for the thinnest samples, it is shown evidence of stress-induced trap-assisted tunnelling leading to a high decrease in threshold voltages on the second RVS. After high-dose X-ray irradiations, the first RVS exhibit voltage-shift effects increasing with the oxide film thickness, whereas for the second RVS, no additional effect is observed. The high locality of these measurements, sensitive to a few tens of trapped charges, is therefore demonstrated and constitutes a new step towards a better understanding of oxide degradation mechanisms due to radiation effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Nanoscience (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Conductive-AFM (C-AFM)
  • Nano I–V curves
  • Oxide reliability
  • Ramped voltage stress
  • SiO/Si structures
  • Ultra-thin oxide films
  • Weibull statistic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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