In this work, different Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) related techniques have been used to completely characterize soft- and hard-breakdown spots of SiO2 gate oxides. In particular, C-AFM (Conductive AFM), SCM (Scanning Capacitance Microscopy) and KPFM (Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy) were used to study the propagation, conduction and the electrical damage of previously broken down gate oxide areas. The results show that the combination of these techniques allows a complete and systematic study of the BD phenomenology at the nanoscale. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Oxide reliability