Atomic origin of high-temperature electron trapping in metal-oxide-semiconductor devices


MOSFETs based on wide-band-gap semiconductors are suitable for operation at high temperature, at which additional atomic-scale processes that are benign at lower temperatures can get activated, resulting in device degradation. Recently, significant enhancement of electron trapping was observed under positive bias in SiC MOSFETs at temperatures higher than 150 °C. Here, we report first-principles calculations showing that the enhanced electron trapping is associated with thermally activated capturing of a second electron by an oxygen vacancy in SiO2 by which the vacancy transforms into a structure that comprises one Si dangling bond and a bond between a five-fold and a four-fold Si atoms. The results suggest a key role of oxygen vacancies and their structural reconfigurations in the reliability of high-temperature MOS devices.

Publication Title

Applied Physics Letters