Quantification of Sodium-Ion Migration in Silicon Nitride by Flatband-Potential Monitoring at Device-Operating Temperatures

Guillaume von Gastrow, Erick Martinez-Loran, Jonathan Scharf, Jacob Clenney, Rico Meier, Prabhakar Bandaru, Mariana I. Bertoni, David P. Fenning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A trap-corrected bias–temperature–stress (TraC-BTS) method to quantify the kinetics of ion migration in dielectrics based on capacitance–voltage measurements is presented. The method is based on the extraction of flatband potential (Vfb) shifts in metal–insulator–semiconductor test structures an enables the reliability assessment of semiconductor dielectrics and solar cells. Herein, it is shown that carrier trapping in the dielectric must be accounted for, as it strongly affects the measurement of flatband potential in silicon-nitride-based capacitors. This effect is corrected by isolating the contribution of trapping on Vfb using contamination-free control devices. A specific drift-diffusion model of the ion kinetics presented herein allows the extraction of ion diffusivity. An Arrhenius relationship is obtained for sodium diffusivity in silicon nitride in a temperature range from 30 °C to 90 °C at an electric field of 1 MV cm−1, yielding a prefactor (Formula presented.) and an activation energy (Formula presented.), with a 95% confidence interval of [(Formula presented.)] eV for the diffusivity. These quantitative kinetics confirm that silicon nitride may be a poor sodium migration barrier under a significant electric field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2000212
JournalPhysica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • capacitance-voltage
  • ion migration
  • photovoltaics
  • potential-induced degradation
  • sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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