We have combined standard electrical tests with conductive-atomic force microscopy experiments to investigate the conduction of MOS devices after the dielectric breakdown (BD) of the SiO2 gate oxide. In particular, the influence of the conduction nanometer scale parameters on the overall device post-BD current-voltage characteristics has been analyzed. The results show a nonuniform conductivity of the oxide at the BD area and that the total current flowing through the device is mainly driven by a very small fraction of that region. © 2005 IEEE.
- Atomic force microscopy
- Dielectric breakdown
- Gate dielectric
- MOS devices
- Semiconductor device reliability