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NIST Modifies & Improves Technique For Detecting Transistor Defects

NIST researchers explore new, modified charge pumping technique can detect single defects as small as the diameter of a hydrogen atom (one-tenth of a billionth of a meter) and can indicate where they’re located in the transistor.

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Abstract
“We utilize a frequency-modulated charge pumping methodology to measure quickly and conveniently single “charge per cycle” in highly scaled Si/SiO2 metal–oxide–semiconductor field effect transistors. This is indicative of detection and manipulation of a single interface trap spin species located at the boundary between the SiO2 gate dielectric and Si substrate (almost certainly a Pb type center). This demonstration in sub-micrometer devices in which Dennard scaling of the gate oxide has yielded extremely large gate oxide leakage currents eliminates interference between the charge pumping current and the leakage phenomenon. The result is the ability to measure single trap charge pumping reliably and easily, which would otherwise be completely inaccessible due to oxide leakage. This work provides a unique and readily available avenue for single spin species detection and manipulation, which can be applied as a quantized standard of electrical current as well as to serve as a potentially useful platform for developing quantum engineering technologies. Finally, we discuss potential underlying physical mechanisms that are involved in producing a seemingly contradictory measure of both odd and even integer values for charge per cycle.”

Find NIST’s detailed writeup here and the technical paper here. Published Feb. 2022.

J. P. Ashton, M. A. Anders, and J. T. Ryan , “Detection of individual spin species via frequency-modulated charge pumping”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 120, 053504 (2022) https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0081172.

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