Table 3: (a) Key advantages of nanocrystal NVM as compared to standard FG flash memory. (b) Critical challenges of nanocrystal NVM.
(a)

Key advantages of nanocrystal NVM References

1Excellent inherent immunity to trap assisted tunneling of SILC through defects in tunnel oxide[3843]
2Tunnel oxide thickness can be further scaled down below 8 nm (critical limitation for standard FG flash memory)[4153]
3Low operating voltage, fast write and erase speed [38, 39, 4144]
4Multiple bit storage[51, 58]
5Eliminate floating gate interference especially for ultradense NAND flash memory[52]
6Leverage existing Si material technology and CMOS compatible process[4153]
7Simpler device structure which yielded fewer process steps that further reduce fabrication costs[40, 52]
8Superior tolerance to radiation effects as compared to standard FG flash memory[55, 58]
9Nitrided silicon nanocrystal NVM has shown larger memory window and faster program speed[47]

(b)

Critical challenges of nanocrystal NVMReferences

1Nanocrystals are not fabricated through lithography process; thus variability in fabrication process is critical towards memory properties of nanocrystal NVM[4042, 50]
2Concern on charge leakage through surrounding oxide if thinning of surrounding oxide continues and density of nanocrystals increases[40, 41, 50, 5254]
3Optimal nanocrystal memory performance requires formation of nanocrystals of optimal size and density and preserving them during subsequent processing steps[40, 41, 4345, 50, 52, 54]
4Impact of charge localization of nanocrystals to operating window[54]