Ferroelectric device characterization for memory applications

Leuven - Master projects/internships
More than two weeks ago

At imec we are looking at ferroelectric memories based on hafnium oxide, join us in the journey towards the new memory technology.

Ferroelectricity has attracted the attention of scientists and engineers in the effort of using the polarization state of a ferroelectric material to encode and store information. However, it was only in recent years that the use of ferroelectricity for non-volatile memory (NVM) applications got a major step forward thanks to the discovery of ferroelectricity in hafnium oxide (HfO2).

Hafnium oxide has been widely studied as replacement of the silicon oxide for the gate dielectric in the MOS stack. On top of that, it has been demonstrated that a small amount of dopant, a capping layer and a thermal anneal can induce the transformation of the dominant monoclinic phase of the HfO2 lattice structure into a non-centrosymmetric orthorhombic phase, which is the origin of its ferroelectric properties. Therefore, a material like that, which is CMOS compatible and shows ferroelectric behaviour, paves the way to a new generation of faster and less power-demanding memories.

At imec we are working towards the understanding and the optimization of the hafnium oxide for memory application. We are looking to the fundamental properties of the material through test structures like simple planar capacitors. And we study the electrical behaviour and reliability of fully processed Fe-FET (Ferroelectric FET) with hafnium oxide as gate dielectric. Moreover, at imec we proposed and demonstrated for the first time the use of polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) as electrodes. Such study provides an important input for 3D applications, aiming at disrupting the 3D NAND market.

During your internship you will be member of the memory device team, and your characterization work will be helpful for the understanding and development of state-of-the-art ferroelectric technology. You will have the chance to work with device characterization, reliability and integration engineers.

We are looking for candidates with:

  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Ability to independently adapt & learn
  • Background in solid state physics and electronics
  • Knowledgeable in software tools for data analysis (Python, Matlab/Octave, Excel...)

Constitute a plus but not a requirement:

  • Experience on measurement tools for semiconductor device characterization (e.g. parameter analysers, oscilloscopes, etc.)

Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 6 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology

Required background: Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Physics

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Jan Van Houdt (Jan.VanHoudt@imec.be) and Nicolo Ronchi (Nicolo.Ronchi@imec.be)

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