Ultraclean two-stage aerosol reactor for production of oxide-passivated silicon nanoparticles for novel memory devices
Silicon nanoparticle-based floating gate metal oxide semiconductor field effect devices are attractive candidates for terabit cm–2 density nonvolatile memory applications. We have designed an ultraclean two-stage aerosol process reactor and 200 mm wafer deposition chamber in order to integrate Si/SiO2 nanoparticles into memory devices. In the first stage, silicon nanoparticles are synthesized by thermal decomposition of silane gas in a reactor that has been optimized to produce nonagglomerated nanoparticles at rates sufficient for layer deposition. In the second stage, the silicon particles are passivated with thermal oxide that partly consumes the particle. This two-stage aerosol reactor has been integrated to a 200 mm silicon wafer deposition chamber that is contained within a class 100 cleanroom environment. This entire reactor system conforms to rigorous cleanliness specifications such that we can control transition metal contamination to as good as 1010 atoms cm–2. The deposition chamber has been designed to produce a controllable particle density profile along a 200 mm wafer where particles are thermophoretically deposited uniformly over three-quarters of the wafer. Thus, we now have the capability to deposit controlled densities of oxide-passivated silicon nanoparticles onto 200 mm silicon wafers for production of silicon nanoparticle memory devices. ©2001 The Electrochemical Society. All rights reserved.