A New Approach to Develop Atomic Scale Understanding of Radiation Effects in Emerging Nanoscale Memory and Logic Materials and Devices

Project: Research project

Project Details


We will use electrically detected magnetic resonance (EDMR) to identify radiation induced atomic scale defects in several emerging nanoscale memory and logic materials and device structures of interest to DTRA, exploiting recent advances in EDMR. EDMR has, at least in principle, the analytical power to identify the atomic scale structure of most or all radiation induced defects in almost any semiconductor and /or insulator based system. The EDMR approach can be applied to radiation effects in almost ANY device, providing in situ identification of atomic scale defects with extraordinarily high sensitivity, allowing meaningful measurements on nanoscale devices. EDMR is based upon electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). Although conventional EPR has unrivaled ability to provide definitive information about the atomic scale structure of radiation induced defects, with nanoscale device issues, it is crippled by its low sensitivity, about ten billion defects. EDMR overcomes this problem with sensitivity more than ten million times higher than conventional EPR, a sensitivity not yet optimized. EDMR also specifically detects only those defects which influence the electronic response of a device or a simple semiconductor or dielectric structure. In the proposed research program, EDMR techniques will be applied (and refined) in studies of radiation effects in challenging nanoscale geometry device structures, including FinFETs, devices incorporating SiGe, low-k dielectric stacks, GaN and in studies of new materials based devices, including resistive random access memories. Our studies will provide physical and chemical identification of the atomic scale defects involved in radiation damage in each case. These new materials and devices will play important roles in the electronics technology of the next quarter century and beyond. This work will have significant technological and scientific impact. By identifying the atomic level defects involved in radiation damage, we provide device processing designers with physical insight they can use in many cases to eliminate or at least ameliorate the deleterious effects that the identified defects cause. In some cases, it may not be possible to eliminate the defects or ameliorate the problems which they cause, but even in these cases, the physical understanding provided will be useful, in that this knowledge will allow for the development of reliable physically based predictive models of the radiation response. The physically based models will help interpret results of laboratory testing of radiation response to accurately predict the radiation response in the field.
Effective start/end date12/23/15 → …


  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency: $450,000.00


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