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Next: 7. Summary and Conclusion Up: Dissertation Robert Wittmann Previous: 5. NBTI Reliability Analysis


6. Applications

This chapter mainly presents three-dimensional simulation applications of ion implantation processes for the investigation of dopant distributions in topological complex targets. The strained or relaxed high-mobility materials employed in the modeled device structures will likely be introduced in leading-edge CMOS technology in the next several years. The simulation on computers is advantageous over experimentally obtained doping profiles. Firstly, it is faster and cheaper, and secondly, only one-dimensional doping profiles can be measured by the SIMS technique. Two- and three-dimensional simulation results provide a better insight into the implantation process than an indirect measurement like measuring the electrical conductivity after some process steps. The simulator MCIMPL-II has been ported to the operating system AIX since the simulation of large three-dimensional device geometries requires a huge amount of computer memory. Most of the three-dimensional applications in this chapter were performed on an IBM-AIX p655 cluster with 64 Gigabyte of main memory per node.

A special emphasis in the ion implantation applications is laid on the formation of ultra-shallow junctions, since this topic is one of the most important issues for processing heavily shrinked MOS devices. The simulation of low-energy source/drain and extension implants is an attractive example to demonstrate the simulation capabilities of a TCAD tool to analyze and optimize the resulting dopant distribution in the device after multiple implantation steps by tuning the process parameters of a single step. Furthermore, a three-dimensional simulation treatment allows to study shadowing effects which arise for large tilt-angle implantations by using self-aligned masking techniques. The most prominent representative of this application class is the halo implantation for punch-through suppression in advanced CMOS devices. However, an important point is that the underlying implantation process is compatible with contemporary CMOS process technology and it can be performed with existing ion implantation equipment.

The NBTI reliability must be investigated under DC and AC stress conditions for any high-performance CMOS technology that uses nitrided gate oxides. The calibrated NBTI model described in Section 5 is used to study NBTI degradation and lifetime for a full SRAM cell based on a 90nm technology. In the performed simulation study, the impact of storing random bit values on the NBTI lifetime of the memory cell is analyzed. We determine the lifetime extension related to the DC lifetime of the cell as function of the probability for storing a one bit between 100% and 50% every second.

6.1 Simulator Check on a Three-Dimensional Test Structure

The goal of the two presented three-dimensional simulation applications is to evaluate the simulator in terms of functioning and performance. A relatively simple structure is used in both implantation applications, which represents a portion of an STI-isolated MOS device.

6.1.1 Low-Energy Arsenic Implantation

Downscaling of MOS transistors requires the formation of very shallow source/drain junction depths which are estimated in Section 1.3 for future CMOS technologies. It is expected that ion implantation technology will continue to dominate the junction formation for advanced MOS devices. Shallow n-type source/drain regions can be easily formed by low-energy arsenic implantation supported by the rapid formation of a fully amorphous layer during the implantation process caused by the high mass of arsenic ions and high implantation doses.

Figure 6.1: MOS structure (left) and mesh for the shallow arsenic implant (right).

Figure 6.2: Shallow 5keV arsenic-implant distribution in the MOS structure.

Figure 6.3: Simulated shallow 5keV arsenic implant profile in the substrate.

The input structure and the mesh for the arsenic implantation are shown in Fig. 6.1, which has been generated in a similar manner as described in the demonstration example in Section 3.2.5. The MOS structure has a base area of $ 266 \!\mathrm{x} \!180$nm and consists of four segments including the standard materials silicon, oxide, and polysilicon. A scattering oxide layer with a thickness of 5nm is used on top of the silicon substrate which is surrounded by STI isolation in the modeled structure. The mesh for the projected shallow implant has 19478 mesh points and 101406 tetrahedral elements. An anisotropic mesh refinement has been applied locally to optimize the mesh for the intended shallow doping and to keep the overall grid below $ 20 \!000$ points. Arsenic ions have been implanted with an energy of 5keV, a dose of $ 5\cdot 10^{14}\mathrm{cm}^{-2}$, and a tilt of 7$ ^\circ $. The accurate Monte Carlo simulation with eight million ions resulted in the three-dimensional arsenic distribution presented in Fig. 6.2. The corresponding one-dimensional arsenic concentration profile in Fig. 6.3 was obtained by only $ 2\cdot10^5$ simulated ions. The doping profile reaches its peak concentration of almost $ 10^{21}$ atoms/ $ \mathrm{cm}^{3}$ at a depth of 2nm below the surface of the substrate and it is characterized by a steep rise and fall of the dopant concentration around the maximum.

Figure 6.4: MOS structure (left) and mesh for the deep boron distribution (right).

6.1.2 Large-Tilt-Angle Boron Implantation With Quad Repositioning

The LAT (large angle tilt) implantation technique can be employed to achieve a larger lateral penetration of the dopants under a mask edge for processing optimized device structures required for advanced CMOS applications. This technique uses large tilt angles in combination with target wafer rotational repositioning during the implant processing sequence, without removing the wafer from the implant platen. The LAT implant technology is typically applied to form the halo implants (or ``pocket'' implants) for the punch-through suppression in shrinked MOS devices. A tilt of 30$ ^\circ $ is used for the simulated sequence of boron implantations which are performed by using a wafer rotation of 90$ ^\circ $ after each implantation step. The already used ``Manhatten'' structure is well suited to demonstrate the equality of the obtained boron distributions between the twist angles of 0 $ ^\circ \leftrightarrow 180^\circ$ and the symmetry between 90 $ ^\circ \leftrightarrow 270^\circ$.

The structure and the generated mesh for the boron implantation are shown in Fig. 6.4. The created volume mesh consists of 8228 mesh points and 41266 tetrahedral elements of similar size. The simulated boron distributions are shown in Fig. 6.5, processed with an energy of 25keV, a dose of $ 10^{13}\mathrm{cm}^{-2}$, and a tilt of 30$ ^\circ $. The Monte Carlo simulation was carried out with four million particles for each implantation step. The simulation domain and the external implantation window were both expanded by about 50nm perpendicular to the front, back, left, and right boundaries of the input geometry to avoid any boundary influence for the dopant distribution at the surface of the device structure.

Figure 6.5: Sequence of four 25keV boron LAT implants with a tilt of 30$ ^\circ $, processed by 90$ ^\circ $ rotational repositioning of the test structure.
Fig. 6.5 demonstrates the successfully performed symmetry check for the simulator MCIMPL-II. The three-dimensional results obtained at a twist of 0$ ^\circ $ and 180$ ^\circ $ are evidently equal, while the results at 90$ ^\circ $ and 270$ ^\circ $ are mirror-symmetric to each other.

Figure 6.6: Simulated boron profiles for the twist angles of 0$ ^\circ $, 90$ ^\circ $, 180$ ^\circ $, and 270$ ^\circ $.


The boron LAT implants in the one-dimensional SiO$ _2$/Si layer structure were simulated with $ 2\cdot10^5$ ion trajectories by using the same implantation conditions as for the three-dimensional test structure. Fig. 6.6 demonstrates that all four boron implantations yield the same doping profile since the used ion beam directions are crystallographically identical.

6.2 Source/Drain Engineering for a Strained Silicon n-MOSFET

The formation of ultra-shallow source/drain and extension regions by two ion implantation steps is demonstrated for a 65nm gate-length n-MOS transistor, which is shown in Fig. 6.7. The modeled device structure has a 12nm thick strained silicon channel layer on top of a 620nm thick relaxed Si$ _{0.8}$Ge$ _{0.2}$ virtual substrate block with a base area of $ 170 \!\mathrm{x} \!600$nm. The gate oxide has a thickness of 2nm and can be grown by thermal oxidation of strained silicon. The simulated high-performance n-MOS transistor is electrically isolated from other devices by using a chip-area saving shallow trench isolation (STI). The MOS structure can be used for processing strained silicon n- and p-MOSFETs depending on the implanted dopant species. Using scaling considerations, a source/drain vertical junction depth around 27.5nm is recommended by the ITRS roadmap for the fabrication of a 65nm technology node, as shown in Table 1.1.
Figure 6.8: Simulated three-dimensional dopant distribution in the n-MOS structure after performing the 2keV arsenic source/drain extension implantation.
Figure 6.7: Modeled structure of the half of a high-performance strained-Si/Si$ _{0.8}$Ge$ _{0.2}$ n-MOSFET with an STI isolation scheme.


Figure 6.10: Final dopant distribution in the cross-section of the MOSFET along the channel after performing the 6keV arsenic source/drain implantation.
Figure 6.9: Top view of the meshed STI transistor structure with sidewall spacer.



Figure 6.11: Final implanted source/drain doping profile of the strained n-MOSFET along a vertical line through the drain region.


In the first ion implantation step, the arsenic source/drain extensions were implanted with an energy of 2 keV and a dose of $ 10^{15} \mathrm{cm}^{-2}$. Fig. 6.8 shows the arsenic distribution in the device structure without sidewall spacer after smoothing of the Monte Carlo result and translating it to the destination mesh. For the ion implantation simulation of the source/drain extensions, the nitride spacer segment is cut off from the meshed transistor structure. Fig. 6.9 shows the meshed structure required to simulate the second implantation step in the two-step sequence. While no additional segments can be added to a final meshed device structure, any non-required segment of the structure can be removed.

In the second arsenic implantation step, the source/drain regions are formed using an energy of 6 keV and a dose of $ 5\cdot10^{15} \mathrm{cm}^{-2}$. Fig. 6.10 shows the simulated cross-section along the channel of the strained n-MOSFET after performing the source/drain implants. In this application the Monte Carlo simulation was carried out with $ 2\cdot10^{7}$ ion trajectories per implantation step to achieve a low statistical fluctuation of the predicted doping profiles.

The use of multiple ion implantation steps with different energies and doses allows to optimize the doping in the device for source/drain engineering problems. Fig. 6.11 compares the simulated one-dimensional doping profiles obtained after the first and after the second arsenic implantation step. The superposition of both implanted dopant distributions produces two peak concentrations in the final arsenic profile. The simulation analysis of a specific ion implantation sequence is very useful to determine the exact process parameters required for a desired doping profile. The shown arsenic profile in Fig. 6.11 reveals that the critical junction depth of 27.5nm is not exceeded for the 65nm n-MOS transistor in this implantation application. Finally, P. Kohli and R. Wise found that arsenic and boron dopants show very little diffusion in the strained-Si/Si$ _{0.8}$Ge$ _{0.2}$ bilayer system by using a flash-assist RTA technique [26].

6.3 Formation of Interdigitated Germanium PIN-Photodiodes

In optical transmission systems, an operation at 1.3$ \mu$m and 1.55$ \mu$m wavelengths is preferred due to the low attenuation in fiber-optic cables. Germanium is an attractive candidate for high-speed photodetector applications due to its high electron mobility and high optical absorption coefficient in this wavelength range [133]. Recently, a bandwidth of 10GHz has been demonstrated at a wavelength of 1.3$ \mu$m for a PIN-photodiode, fabricated in epitaxial Ge-on-Si technology [110]. The use of germanium is advantageous over III-V compound materials in terms of lower fabrication costs and feasible integration with silicon CMOS technology.

Figure 6.12: Layout (left) and cross-section (right) of a high-speed Ge-on-Si PIN photodetector with planar interdigitated p$ ^+$- and n$ ^+$-fingers.

Compositionally graded SiGe layers are deposited on the silicon wafer to achieve a 1$ \mu$m thick germanium layer with a low defect density. In this doping application, the interdigitated p$ ^+$- and n$ ^+$-finger regions of the photodetector are formed by ion implantation. For this purpose, photoresist masks are used to define the finger structure with a width of 1$ \mu$m and a spacing of 2$ \mu$m. Fig. 6.12 shows the schematic top and cross-sectional views of the final PIN-photodetector. This large area photodetector consists of elementary photodiodes which are connected in parallel. An elementary photodiode can be defined as the three-dimensional region from the center of a p$ ^+$-finger to the center of an n$ ^+$-finger.

Figure 6.14: Simulated 60keV arsenic implantation step for the n$ ^+$-finger formation in germanium using a photoresist mask.

Figure 6.13: Simulated 15keV boron implantation step for the p$ ^+$-finger formation in germanium using a photoresist mask.


Figure 6.16: Simulated amorphization of germanium in the finger regions after the boron and arsenic implantations with a dose of $ 2\cdot 10^{15}$cm$ ^{-2}$.

Figure 6.15: Simulated doping concentration isolines in the p$ ^+$- and n$ ^+$-fingers of an elementary PIN-photodiode of the detector in the cross-sectional view.


In the first process step the p$ ^+$-fingers are patterned and boron is implanted with an energy of 15keV and a dose of $ 2\cdot 10^{15}$cm$ ^{-2}$. The three-dimensional boron distribution, as shown in Fig. 6.13, was obtained by using a 5nm thick oxide scattering layer on top of germanium. In the second process step the n$ ^+$-fingers are formed by an implantation of arsenic with an energy of 60keV and same dose. The shallow arsenic distribution in the simulated device part is presented in Fig. 6.14. In spite of the lower implantation energy, boron ions can penetrate much deeper into the germanium layer than arsenic ions. Fig. 6.15 allows to compare the simulated boron and arsenic profiles in the PIN-photodiode by using equal doping concentration isolines. The reason for the large channeling tail of the boron profile lies mainly in the small amount of produced point defects in germanium. The critical level of point defects (Frenkel pairs) needed for amorphization of germanium is about $ 4.42\cdot 10^{21}$cm$ ^{-3}$, one tenth of the germanium atomic density [134]. Fig. 6.16 demonstrates that the arsenic implantation has produced an amorphous zone, while the maximum defect concentration of the boron implantation is significantly lower than the amorphization level. The predicted damage results are consistent with experimental observations obtained by processing a PIN-photodiode on a germanium substrate under similar process conditions. In [135] it was found that the as-implanted resistance of the boron implant was 201 $ \Omega/\Box$ at a dose of $ 2\cdot 10^{15}$cm$ ^{-2}$, while that for the arsenic implant was not measurable. This fact strongly indicates that boron-implanted germanium remains crystalline at least up to the used dose, while arsenic-implanted germanium becomes amorphous.

6.4 NBTI Lifetime Analysis of a CMOS SRAM Cell

Conventional six-transistor CMOS SRAM cell structures are dominantly employed in today's cache memory blocks for advanced microprocessors. The long-term stability of such a CMOS memory cell is strongly affected by NBTI induced degradation of MOSFET parameters (e.g. threshold voltage) which leads to a reduction in the static noise margin (SNM) of the cell [136]. As explained in Section 5, negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) in p-MOSFETs with nitrided gate oxides has emerged as the dominant degradation mechanism for newer CMOS technologies. The AC degradation is significantly lower than the DC degradation for any given stress time, since the interface traps generated during the on-state of the MOSFET are partially annealed in the off-state (dynamic NBTI effect). While transistor degradation in CMOS-based NAND circuits depends on the AC operating conditions (e.g. clock frequency), in SRAM cells it is possible that a stored bit value does not change for a long time. On the other hand, it would be to strict to equate the lifetime of an SRAM transistor with its DC lifetime. The two p-MOSFETs employed in a 6T-SRAM cell are unsymmetrically NBT stressed by the stored bit values. The split of on-state times between the two devices (only either of them is ``on'') lies well within the boundaries of pure DC stress (100/0 stress-split) and symmetric AC stress (50/50 stress-split). Only a periodically flipping of the bit with comparable on-times would lead to equal parameter degradation of both devices and hence to the longest lifetime of the SRAM cell. The worst-case lifetime of an SRAM cell can be determined by storing a random bit sequence where the probability is, for instance, 90% for storing a ``one'' (or 90% for storing a ``zero'') which corresponds to a 90/10 NBT stress-split. In this simulation study, NBTI responses to random bit sequences are studied by using a calibrated reaction-diffusion model [137].

The investigated SRAM cell, shown in Fig. 6.17, was fabricated in a 90nm process technology. The cell consists of two cross-coupled CMOS inverters (T1, T2 and T3, T4) and the access transistors T5 and T6. While the p-MOSFETs T2 and T4 are affected by NBTI as long as the power is supplied to the cell (at least either of them), the parameter degradation of the comprised n-MOSFETs is neglected in this study. In the high state of the flip-flop (node BIT is high), T2 is under NBT stress, and in the other state (BIT low), T4 is stressed. The performed NBTI measurements for the 90nm p-MOSFET device are described in Section 5.

Figure 6.17: Schematic (left) and layout (right) of the investigated 6T-SRAM cell.


Fig. 6.18 shows the NBTI induced $ V_T$ parameter degradation of the MOSFET T2 for storing a bit value every second in the memory cell, whereby the probability is 90% for storing a ``one''. The worst-case parameter degradation of T2/T4 lies always in the range between the envelope degradation curves under DC and under symmetric AC stress. Due to the high unsymmetry between the turn on and off times at a ratio of 90/10 for T2, the $ V_T$ degradation lies closer to the DC boundary than to the symmetric AC boundary. Fig. 6.19 shows the zoomed-in time diagram of the beginning phase from Fig. 6.18 (first 150 seconds), where the progression of the NBTI response of T2 and the corresponding random gate drive signal can be seen more clearly. The rectangular gate signal of the simulation was derived from a random-number generator which produces uniformly distributed random variates in the interval $ [0, 1]$. In the simulation presented in Fig. 6.20, the overall stress time of T2 is further increased by storing a random bit sequence with a probability of 95% for a one. It can be observed that the NBTI response curve converges to the DC degradation envelope since the annealing of interface traps during the unfrequent ``high'' states of the gate signal is not sufficient to reduce the parameter degradation significantly from the degradation under DC stress. A data flipping technique for SRAM arrays is proposed in [136] to solve the problem of highly unsymmetrical NBTI induced degradation of p-MOSFET devices in SRAM cells. The periodic flipping of the contents of all SRAM cells, e.g. every 10$ ^5$ seconds, can be performed either by software or hardware.

Long-time simulations were performed at a supply voltage of 1.5V under DC and under symmetric AC stress with a 10Hz rectangular gate signal to determine the boundaries for the SRAM lifetime. Fig. 6.21 shows the lifetime extension of the cell due to the dynamic NBTI effect. The lifetime was defined here as a $ V_T$ shift of 40mV for the p-MOSFETs. The AC lifetime for a symmetric gate signal operation at 10Hz would be 1.7 times longer than the DC lifetime of the cell. The SRAM lifetime for storing a random bit sequence with a probability of 90% for storing a one bit (or 90% for a zero bit) is 1.14 times longer than the DC lifetime.

Figure 6.18: Comparison of storing random bit values every second in the cell with 90% probability for a one to DC and AC degradation of transistor T2.

Figure 6.19: Comparison of storing random bit values every second with 90% probability for a one to DC and AC degradation of T2 for early stress times.

Figure 6.20: Comparison of random bit sequences with 95% probability for one to DC and AC degradation of T2.

Figure 6.21: Simulated lifetime extension of the SRAM cell related to the DC lifetime of the cell for different on-time probabilities of T2.

next up previous contents
Next: 7. Summary and Conclusion Up: Dissertation Robert Wittmann Previous: 5. NBTI Reliability Analysis

R. Wittmann: Miniaturization Problems in CMOS Technology: Investigation of Doping Profiles and Reliability