Modeling of programming time of nanocrystal flash memory cells

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Charging dynamics of nanocrystals in the emerging silicon nanocrystals-based flash memory is explained using a simplified engineering model based on effective mass approximation. The model includes the presence of discrete energy levels in the nanocrystals and also the effect of shift in energy levels in the nanocrystals with more than one electron. The simulated results of shift in threshold voltage as a function of programming time, and the effect of gate voltage and drain voltage on the programming speed agree very well with the experimental results. The tunnel mass of electron in the oxide, which is used as a fit parameter, takes into account the effect of strain and crystallographic orientational effects. Assumptions and limitations of the model are discussed.


Charge dynamics; Computer storage device; Flash memory; Nanocrystals; Nanosilicon; Tunneling

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