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Iridium nanocrystals in Flash chips

Posted: 17 Dec 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iridium? flash memories? floating gate? non-volatile memory?

�Incorporating nanocrystals of iridium into the critical floating gate portion of flash memory designs shows both excellent memory properties as well as stability in the high temperatures used in processing such semiconductor devices,? says Wen-Shou Tseng of Taiwan�s Center for Measurement Standards, Industrial Technology Research Institute.

His team, including students and professor at the nearby National Chiao Tung University and Chung Hua University, posited that Iridium�s high �work function? and 2,500�C melting point make it a good material for Flash memory. Only a billionth of a billionth of a gram of iridium would be needed for each gate.

In recent years, many different metals have been investigated for their nanocrystal potential. Nickel and tungsten, for example, are attractive for, respectively, a high work function and thermal stability. But they and other elements lack both needed properties. It is rare, indeed, that iridium has both needed qualities, Tseng says.

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