Electrical conduction in silicon nitrides deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition

Meng Tao, Daegypu Park, S. Noor Mohammad, Ding Li, Andrei E. Botchkerav, Hadis Morkoç

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Current conduction in Si-rich and stoichiometric silicon nitride as well as in oxynitride is studied in detail. Representative samples from each of the three categories exhibit Ohmic, Poole-Frenkel and Fowler-Nordheim tunnelling currents to differing extents. All the samples show an Ohmic region at low electric fields. The oxynitride sample has the largest Ohmic region, and the Si-rich sample the smallest. Under intermediate and high fields, the oxynitride sample shows only Fowler-Nordheim tunnelling, but the Si-rich sample is dominated by Poole-Frenkel emission. The stoichiometric sample shows a Poole-Frenkel region at intermediate fields and a Fowler-Nordheim region at high fields. These results indicate that the oxynitride sample has the lowest density of traps, and the Si-rich sample has the highest. Our observations are explained in terms of the flexibility of bonding configurations of N and O atoms, and the formation of Si‒Si bonds in Si-rich silicon nitride.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-736
Number of pages14
JournalPhilosophical Magazine B: Physics of Condensed Matter; Statistical Mechanics, Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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