PMOS negative bias temperature instability in an ionizing radiation environment
Geoghegan, Kevin B.
Weatherford, Todd R.
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As a consequence of the semiconductor industry chasing Moore’s Law, device scaling and changes to the transistor material system have introduced significant emerging reliability concerns that have the potential for drastically shortening device, and hence, product lifetimes. Of these emergent reliability concerns, negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) in the p-channel metal-oxide semiconductor (PMOS) devices is widely considered the most pressing. Radiation effects and extended operating conditions commonplace in space and defense systems can exacerbate the reliability situation. This research sought to investigate the device degradation resulting from NBTI in a space-radiation environment. In this dissertation, research and experimental results of the combined effects of NBTI and ionizing radiation on PMOS transistors manufactured in a commercially available 130 nm complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process are presented and discussed. For the first time, within the NBTI characterization framework, the effects of ionizing radiation on PMOS NBTI are presented. A significant finding was that ionizing radiation had a complex effect on PMOS NBTI in which the ionizing radiation worsened NBTI at operationally relevant conditions while producing a surprisingly uncharacteristic response under higher stress conditions. Finally, a model representative of the combined effects of ionizing radiation and NBTI on the PMOS device parameters is introduced.
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