Approach towards Hybrid Silicon/Molecular Electronics for Memory Applications

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Title: Approach towards Hybrid Silicon/Molecular Electronics for Memory Applications
Author: Li, Qiliang
Advisors: Jonathan S. Lindsey, Committee Member
Douglas W. Barlage, Committee Member
Veena Misra, Committee Chair
Carlton M. Osburn, Committee Member
Abstract: As CMOS technology extends to and beyond 65-nm technology node, many challenges to MOSFET were raised. The industrial and academic communities are aggressively searching for solutions to meet these challenges: (1) non-classical CMOS to extend the life of CMOS technology, and (2) fundamentally new technologies to replace CMOS technology including molecular electronics. The approach of hybrid silicon/molecular electronics is to provide a smooth transition technology by integrating molecular intrinsic scalability and diverse properties with the vast infrastructure of traditional MOS technology. The focus of this research is on integrating redox-active, organic molecules into Si-based structures to first, characterize and understand the properties of molecules; second, generate a new class of hybrid silicon/molecular devices for memory applications; and third, open a new way to develop purely molecular-scale devices. This dissertation has concentrated on the fabrication, characterization and simulation of hybrid CMOS/molecular devices for memory applications: (1) Specific procedures have been successfully developed for attaching redox-active, tightly-bonded, well-packed, molecular self-assembled monolayers on Si and SiO2 surfaces via solution-phase or vapor-phase deposition. (2) An electrolyte/molecule/Si structure has been implemented for electrical characterizations and theoretical simulations to understand the molecules and their application in memory devices, including DRAM and FLASH devices. (3) Two different strategies to achieve multibit memory have been developed and optimized using the methods of attaching mixed monolayers and stacked multilayer films. (4) Molecular multilayer films with very high surface coverage have been achieved for application in memory devices. Metal/molecule/Si sandwich structures using molecular multilayer films were fabricated and exhibited nonvolatile electrical switching properties. A set of control experiments indicate that these switching properties are due to the interaction of metal/molecule interface instead of the redox-related processes. In conclusion, this thesis has focused on hybrid silicon/molecular electronics and has investigated the intrinsic properties of molecules and proposed feasible ways to apply molecules in memory devices.
Date: 2005-01-24
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Electrical Engineering

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