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Static behavior of chalcogenide based programmable metallization cells

Description

Nonvolatile memory (NVM) technologies have been an integral part of electronic systems for the past 30 years. The ideal non-volatile memory have minimal physical size, energy usage, and cost while having maximal speed, capacity, retention time, and radiation hardness. A

Nonvolatile memory (NVM) technologies have been an integral part of electronic systems for the past 30 years. The ideal non-volatile memory have minimal physical size, energy usage, and cost while having maximal speed, capacity, retention time, and radiation hardness. A promising candidate for next-generation memory is ion-conducting bridging RAM which is referred to as programmable metallization cell (PMC), conductive bridge RAM (CBRAM), or electrochemical metallization memory (ECM), which is likely to surpass flash memory in all the ideal memory characteristics. A comprehensive physics-based model is needed to completely understand PMC operation and assist in design optimization.

To advance the PMC modeling effort, this thesis presents a precise physical model parameterizing materials associated with both ion-rich and ion-poor layers of the PMC's solid electrolyte, so that captures the static electrical behavior of the PMC in both its low-resistance on-state (LRS) and high resistance off-state (HRS). The experimental data is measured from a chalcogenide glass PMC designed and manufactured at ASU. The static on- and off-state resistance of a PMC device composed of a layered (Ag-rich/Ag-poor) Ge30Se70 ChG film is characterized and modeled using three dimensional simulation code written in Silvaco Atlas finite element analysis software. Calibrating the model to experimental data enables the extraction of device parameters such as material bandgaps, workfunctions, density of states, carrier mobilities, dielectric constants, and affinities.

The sensitivity of our modeled PMC to the variation of its prominent achieved material parameters is examined on the HRS and LRS impedance behavior.

The obtained accurate set of material parameters for both Ag-rich and Ag-poor ChG systems and process variation verification on electrical characteristics enables greater fidelity in PMC device simulation, which significantly enhances our ability to understand the underlying physics of ChG-based resistive switching memory.

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Date Created
2014

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Design and analysis of a dual supply class H audio amplifier

Description

Efficiency of components is an ever increasing area of importance to portable applications, where a finite battery means finite operating time. Higher efficiency devices need to be designed that don't compromise on the performance that the consumer has come to

Efficiency of components is an ever increasing area of importance to portable applications, where a finite battery means finite operating time. Higher efficiency devices need to be designed that don't compromise on the performance that the consumer has come to expect. Class D amplifiers deliver on the goal of increased efficiency, but at the cost of distortion. Class AB amplifiers have low efficiency, but high linearity. By modulating the supply voltage of a Class AB amplifier to make a Class H amplifier, the efficiency can increase while still maintaining the Class AB level of linearity. A 92dB Power Supply Rejection Ratio (PSRR) Class AB amplifier and a Class H amplifier were designed in a 0.24um process for portable audio applications. Using a multiphase buck converter increased the efficiency of the Class H amplifier while still maintaining a fast response time to respond to audio frequencies. The Class H amplifier had an efficiency above the Class AB amplifier by 5-7% from 5-30mW of output power without affecting the total harmonic distortion (THD) at the design specifications. The Class H amplifier design met all design specifications and showed performance comparable to the designed Class AB amplifier across 1kHz-20kHz and 0.01mW-30mW. The Class H design was able to output 30mW into 16Ohms without any increase in THD. This design shows that Class H amplifiers merit more research into their potential for increasing efficiency of audio amplifiers and that even simple designs can give significant increases in efficiency without compromising linearity.

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Date Created
2013

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Retention of programmable metallization cells during ionizing radiation exposure

Description

Non-volatile memory (NVM) has become a staple in the everyday life of consumers. NVM manifests inside cell phones, laptops, and most recently, wearable tech such as smart watches. NAND Flash has been an excellent solution to conditions requiring fast, compact

Non-volatile memory (NVM) has become a staple in the everyday life of consumers. NVM manifests inside cell phones, laptops, and most recently, wearable tech such as smart watches. NAND Flash has been an excellent solution to conditions requiring fast, compact NVM. Current technology nodes are nearing the physical limits of scaling, preventing flash from improving. To combat the limitations of flash and to appease consumer demand for progressively faster and denser NVM, new technologies are needed. One possible candidate for the replacement of NAND Flash is programmable metallization cells (PMC). PMC are a type of resistive memory, meaning that they do not rely on charge storage to maintain a logic state. Depending on their application, it is possible that devices containing NVM will be exposed to harsh radiation environments. As part of the process for developing a novel memory technology, it is important to characterize the effects irradiation has on the functionality of the devices.

This thesis characterizes the effects that ionizing γ-ray irradiation has on the retention of the programmed resistive state of a PMC. The PMC devices tested used Ge30Se70 doped with Ag as the solid electrolyte layer and were fabricated by the thesis author in a Class 100 clean room. Individual device tiles were wire bonded into ceramic packages and tested in a biased and floating contact scenario.

The first scenario presented shows that PMC devices are capable of retaining their programmed state up to the maximum exposed total ionizing dose (TID) of 3.1 Mrad(Si). In this first scenario, the contacts of the PMC devices were left floating during exposure. The second scenario tested shows that the PMC devices are capable of retaining their state until the maximum TID of 10.1 Mrad(Si) was reached. The contacts in the second scenario were biased, with a 50 mV read voltage applied to the anode contact. Analysis of the results show that Ge30Se70 PMC are ionizing radiation tolerant and can retain a programmed state to a higher TID than NAND Flash memory.

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Date Created
2015

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Lateral Ag Electrodeposits in Chalcogenide Glass for Physical Unclonable Function Application

Description

Counterfeiting of goods is a widespread epidemic that is affecting the world economy. The conventional labeling techniques are proving inadequate to thwart determined counterfeiters equipped with sophisticated technologies. There is a growing need of a secure labeling that is easy

Counterfeiting of goods is a widespread epidemic that is affecting the world economy. The conventional labeling techniques are proving inadequate to thwart determined counterfeiters equipped with sophisticated technologies. There is a growing need of a secure labeling that is easy to manufacture and analyze but extremely difficult to copy. Programmable metallization cell technology operates on a principle of controllable reduction of a metal ions to an electrodeposit in a solid electrolyte by application of bias. The nature of metallic electrodeposit is unique for each instance of growth, moreover it has a treelike, bifurcating fractal structure with high information capacity. These qualities of the electrodeposit can be exploited to use it as a physical unclonable function. The secure labels made from the electrodeposits grown in radial structure can provide enhanced authentication and protection from counterfeiting and tampering.

So far only microscale radial structures and electrodeposits have been fabricated which limits their use to labeling only high value items due to high cost associated with their fabrication and analysis. Therefore, there is a need for a simple recipe for fabrication of macroscale structure that does not need sophisticated lithography tools and cleanroom environment. Moreover, the growth kinetics and material characteristics of such macroscale electrodeposits need to be investigated. In this thesis, a recipe for fabrication of centimeter scale radial structure for growing Ag electrodeposits using simple fabrication techniques was proposed. Fractal analysis of an electrodeposit suggested information capacity of 1.27 x 1019. The kinetics of growth were investigated by electrical characterization of the full cell and only solid electrolyte at different temperatures. It was found that mass transport of ions is the rate limiting process in the growth. Materials and optical characterization techniques revealed that the subtle relief like structure and consequently distinct optical response of the electrodeposit provides an added layer of security. Thus, the enormous information capacity, ease of fabrication and simplicity of analysis make macroscale fractal electrodeposits grown in radial programmable metallization cells excellent candidates for application as physical unclonable functions.

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Date Created
2017

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Fractal properties and applications of dendritic filaments in programmable metallization cells

Description

Programmable metallization cell (PMC) technology employs the mechanisms of metal ion transport in solid electrolytes (SE) and electrochemical redox reactions in order to form metallic electrodeposits. When a positive bias is applied to an anode opposite to a cathode, atoms

Programmable metallization cell (PMC) technology employs the mechanisms of metal ion transport in solid electrolytes (SE) and electrochemical redox reactions in order to form metallic electrodeposits. When a positive bias is applied to an anode opposite to a cathode, atoms at the anode are oxidized to ions and dissolve into the SE. Under the influence of the electric field, the ions move to the cathode and become reduced to form the electrodeposits. These electrodeposits are filamentary in nature and persistent, and since they are metallic can alter the physical characteristics of the material on which they are formed. PMCs can be used as next generation memories, radio frequency (RF) switches and physical unclonable functions (PUFs).

The morphology of the filaments is impacted by the biasing conditions. Under a relatively high applied electric field, they form as dendritic elements with a low fractal dimension (FD), whereas a low electric field leads to high FD features. Ion depletion effects in the SE due to low ion diffusivity/mobility also influences the morphology by limiting the ion supply into the growing electrodeposit.

Ion transport in SE is due to hopping transitions driven by drift and diffusion force. A physical model of ion hopping with Brownian motion has been proposed, in which the ion transitions are random when time window is larger than characteristic time. The random growth process of filaments in PMC adds entropy to the electrodeposition, which leads to random features in the dendritic patterns. Such patterns has extremely high information capacity due to the fractal nature of the electrodeposits.

In this project, lateral-growth PMCs were fabricated, whose LRS resistance is less than 10Ω, which can be used as RF switches. Also, an array of radial-growth PMCs was fabricated, on which multiple dendrites, all with different shapes, could be grown simultaneously. Those patterns can be used as secure keys in PUFs and authentication can be performed by optical scanning.

A kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) model is developed to simulate the ion transportation in SE under electric field. The simulation results matched experimental data well that validated the ion hopping model.

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Date Created
2015

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Lateral Programmable Metallization Cells: Materials, Devices and Mechanisms

Description

Lateral programmable metallization cells (PMC) utilize the properties of electrodeposits grown over a solid electrolyte channel. Such devices have an active anode and an inert cathode separated by a long electrodeposit channel in a coplanar arrangement. The ability to transport

Lateral programmable metallization cells (PMC) utilize the properties of electrodeposits grown over a solid electrolyte channel. Such devices have an active anode and an inert cathode separated by a long electrodeposit channel in a coplanar arrangement. The ability to transport large amount of metallic mass across the channel makes these devices attractive for various More-Than-Moore applications. Existing literature lacks a comprehensive study of electrodeposit growth kinetics in lateral PMCs. Moreover, the morphology of electrodeposit growth in larger, planar devices is also not understood. Despite the variety of applications, lateral PMCs are not embraced by the semiconductor industry due to incompatible materials and high operating voltages needed for such devices. In this work, a numerical model based on the basic processes in PMCs – cation drift and redox reactions – is proposed, and the effect of various materials parameters on the electrodeposit growth kinetics is reported. The morphology of the electrodeposit growth and kinetics of the electrodeposition process are also studied in devices based on Ag-Ge30Se70 materials system. It was observed that the electrodeposition process mainly consists of two regimes of growth – cation drift limited regime and mixed regime. The electrodeposition starts in cation drift limited regime at low electric fields and transitions into mixed regime as the field increases. The onset of mixed regime can be controlled by applied voltage which also affects the morphology of electrodeposit growth. The numerical model was then used to successfully predict the device kinetics and onset of mixed regime. The problem of materials incompatibility with semiconductor manufacturing was solved by proposing a novel device structure. A bilayer structure using semiconductor foundry friendly materials was suggested as a candidate for solid electrolyte. The bilayer structure consists of a low resistivity oxide shunt layer on top of a high resistivity ion carrying oxide layer. Devices using Cu2O as the low resistivity shunt on top of Cu doped WO3 oxide were fabricated. The bilayer devices provided orders of magnitude improvement in device performance in the context of operating voltage and switching time. Electrical and materials characterization revealed the structure of bilayers and the mechanism of electrodeposition in these devices.

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Date Created
2020