A First Evaluation of Thick Oxide 3C-SiC MOS Capacitors Reliability

Li F., Mawby P., Song Q., Perez-Tomas A., Shah V., Sharma Y., Hamilton D., Fisher C., Gammon P., Jennings M. IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices67 (1, 8935512): 237 – 242. 2020. 10.1109/TED.2019.2954911. IF: 2.913

Despite the recent advances in 3C-SiC technology, there is a lack of statistical analysis on the reliability of SiO2 layers on 3C-SiC, which is crucial in power MOS device developments. This article presents a comprehensive study of the medium-and long-term time-dependent dielectric breakdowns (TDDBs) of 65-nm-thick SiO2 layers thermally grown on a state-of-the-art 3C-SiC/Si wafer. Fowler-Nordheim (F-N) tunneling is observed above 7 MV/cm and an effective barrier height of 3.7 eV is obtained, which is the highest known for native SiO2 layers grown on the semiconductor substrate. The observed dependence of the oxide reliability on the gate active area suggests that the oxide quality has not reached the intrinsic level. Three failure mechanisms were identified and confirmed by both medium-and long-term results. Although two of them are likely due to extrinsic defects from material quality and fabrication steps, the one dominating the high field (>8.5 MV/cm) should be attributed to the electron impact ionization within SiO2. At room temperature, the field acceleration factor is found to be ≈0.906 dec/(MV/cm) for high fields, and the projected lifetime exceeds 10 years at 4.5 MV/cm. © 1963-2012 IEEE.

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Velocity Saturation Effect on Low Frequency Noise in Short Channel Single Layer Graphene Field Effect Transistors

Mavredakis N., Wei W., Pallecchi E., Vignaud D., Happy H., Garcia Cortadella R., Bonaccini Calia A., Garrido J.A.,  Jiménez D., ACS Applied Electronic Materials1 (12): 2626 – 2636. 2019. 10.1021/acsaelm.9b00604.

Graphene devices for analog and radio frequency (RF) applications are prone to low frequency noise (LFN) due to its up conversion to undesired phase noise at higher frequencies. Such applications demand the use of short channel graphene transistors (GFETs) that operate at high electric fields in order to ensure a high speed. Electric field is inversely proportional to device length and proportional to channel potential, so it gets maximized as the drain voltage increases and the transistor’s length shrinks. Under these conditions though, short channel effects like velocity saturation (VS) should be considered. The reduction of LFN data due to the VS effect at short channel GFETs operating at high drain potential is for the first time shown in the present work. Carrier number and mobility fluctuations have been proven to be the main sources that generate LFN in GFETs. While their contribution to the bias dependence of LFN in long channels has been thoroughly investigated, the way in which VS phenomenon affects LFN in short channel devices under high drain voltage conditions has not been well understood. In this paper we have proposed a physics-based analytical LFN model that works under both low and high electric field conditions. The implemented model is validated with experimental data from CVD grown back-gated single layer GFETs operating at gigahertz frequencies. The model accurately captures the reduction of LFN especially near the charge neutrality point because of the effect of the VS mechanism. Moreover, an analytical expression for the effect of contact resistance on LFN is derived. This contact resistance contribution is experimentally shown to be dominant at high gate voltages and is accurately described by the proposed model. The noise parameter related to LFN at contacts is found to have an exponential dependence with contact resistance, and to our knowledge, this is shown for the first time.

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On the Suitability of Raman Spectroscopy to Monitor the Degree of Graphene Functionalization by Diazonium Salts

Sampathkumar K., Diez-Cabanes V., Kovaricek P., Del Corro E., Bouša M., Hošek J., Kalbac M., Frank O. Journal of Physical Chemistry C123 (36): 22397 – 22402. 2019. 10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b06516. IF: 4.309

Raman spectroscopy is undoubtedly the most frequently used technique for universal characterization of graphene and related materials. Quantification of parameters like disorder or strain is possible through analysis of particular Raman bands. However, under certain conditions, such evaluation can be jeopardized by – sometimes hidden – convolution of more overlapping effects. In this work, graphene functionalization by the common nitrobenzenediazonium salt under simultaneous biaxial tensile deformation induced by substrate swelling was investigated by Raman spectroscopy. As expected, the disorder-related D band appeared in the spectra documenting the covalent attack on the graphene lattice. However, the strain-induced shift of the graphene bands exposed additional peaks, masked at exactly the same positions as the unstrained graphene bands. The new bands were assigned to vibrations of the diazonium molecule and its decomposition products adsorbed on top of the functionalized graphene. The external strain thus provided means for more correct quantification of the lattice disorder. © 2019 American Chemical Society.

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Crossover from ballistic to diffusive thermal transport in suspended graphene membranes

El Sachat A., Köenemann F., Menges F., Del Corro E., Garrido J.A., Sotomayor Torres C.M., Alzina F., Gotsmann B. 2D Materials6 (2, 025034) 2019. 10.1088/2053-1583/ab097d. IF: 7.343

We report heat transport measurements on suspended single-layer graphene disks with radius of 150-1600 nm using a high-vacuum scanning thermal microscope. The results of this study revealed a radius-dependent thermal contact resistance between tip and graphene, with values between 1.15 and 1.52 × 108 KW-1. The observed scaling of thermal resistance with radius is interpreted in terms of ballistic phonon transport in suspended graphene discs with radius smaller than 775 nm. In larger suspended graphene discs (radius >775 nm), the thermal resistance increases with radius, which is attributed to in-plane heat transport being limited by phonon-phonon resistive scattering processes, which resulted in a transition from ballistic to diffusive thermal transport. In addition, by simultaneously mapping topography and steady-state heat flux signals between a self-heated scanning probe sensor and graphene with 17 nm thermal spatial resolution, we demonstrated that the surface quality of the suspended graphene and its connectivity with the Si/SiO2 substrate play a determining role in thermal transport. Our approach allows the investigation of heat transport in suspended graphene at sub-micrometre length scales and overcomes major limitations of conventional experimental methods usually caused by extrinsic thermal contact resistances, assumptions on the value of the graphene’s optical absorbance and limited thermal spatial resolution. © 2019 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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Versatile Graphene-Based Platform for Robust Nanobiohybrid Interfaces

Bueno R., Marciello M., Moreno M., Sánchez-Sánchez C., Martinez J.I., Martinez L., Prats-Alfonso E., Guimerà-Brunet A., Garrido J.A., Villa R., Mompean F., García-Hernandez M., Huttel Y., Morales M.D.P., Briones C., López M.F., Ellis G.J., Vázquez L., Martín-Gago J.A. ACS Omega4 (2): 3287 – 3297. 2019. 10.1021/acsomega.8b03152. IF: 2.584

Technologically useful and robust graphene-based interfaces for devices require the introduction of highly selective, stable, and covalently bonded functionalities on the graphene surface, whilst essentially retaining the electronic properties of the pristine layer. This work demonstrates that highly controlled, ultrahigh vacuum covalent chemical functionalization of graphene sheets with a thiol-terminated molecule provides a robust and tunable platform for the development of hybrid nanostructures in different environments. We employ this facile strategy to covalently couple two representative systems of broad interest: metal nanoparticles, via S-metal bonds, and thiol-modified DNA aptamers, via disulfide bridges. Both systems, which have been characterized by a multitechnique approach, remain firmly anchored to the graphene surface even after several washing cycles. Atomic force microscopy images demonstrate that the conjugated aptamer retains the functionality required to recognize a target protein. This methodology opens a new route to the integration of high-quality graphene layers into diverse technological platforms, including plasmonics, optoelectronics, or biosensing. With respect to the latter, the viability of a thiol-functionalized chemical vapor deposition graphene-based solution-gated field-effect transistor array was assessed. © Copyright 2019 American Chemical Society.

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Long-Term Functionality of Transversal Intraneural Electrodes is Improved by Dexamethasone Treatment

De La Oliva N., Del Valle J., Delgado-Martinez I., Mueller M., Stieglitz T., Navarro X. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering27 (3, 8633873): 457 – 464. 2019. 10.1109/TNSRE.2019.2897256. IF: 3.478

Neuroprostheses aimed to restore lost functions after a limb amputation are based on the interaction with the nervous system by means of neural interfaces. Among the different designs, intraneural electrodes implanted in peripheral nerves represent a good strategy to stimulate nerve fibers to send sensory feedback and to record nerve signals to control the prosthetic limb. However, intraneural electrodes, as any device implanted in the body, induce a foreign body reaction (FBR) that results in the tissue encapsulation of the device. The FBR causes a progressive decline of the electrode functionality over time due to the physical separation between the electrode active sites and the axons to the interface. Modulation of the inflammatory response has arisen as a good strategy to reduce the FBR and maintain electrode functionality. In this paper, transversal intraneural multi-channel electrodes (TIMEs) were implanted in the rat sciatic nerve and tested for three months to evaluate stimulation and recording capabilities under chronic administration of dexamethasone. Dexamethasone treatment significantly reduced the threshold for evoking muscle responses during the follow-up compared to saline-treated animals, without affecting the selectivity of stimulation. However, dexamethasone treatment did not improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the recorded neural signals. Dexamethasone treatment allowed to maintain more working active sites along time than saline treatment. Thus, systemic administration of dexamethasone appears as a useful treatment in chronically implanted animals with neural electrodes as it increases the number of functioning contacts of the implanted TIME and reduces the intensity needed to stimulate the nerve. © 2001-2011 IEEE.

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