The dielectric layer, which is an essential building block in electronic device circuitry, is subject to intrinsic or induced defects that limit its performance. Nano-layers of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) represent a promising dielectric layer in nano-electronics owing to its excellent electronic and thermal properties. In order to further analyze this technology, two-dimensional (2D) h-BN dielectric layers were exposed to high-energy proton irradiation at various proton energies and doses to intentionally introduce defective sites. A pristine h-BN capacitor showed typical degradation stages with a hard breakdown field of 10.3 MV cm-1, while h-BN capacitors irradiated at proton energies of 5 and 10 MeV at a dose of 1 × 1013 cm-2 showed lower hard breakdown fields of 1.6 and 8.3 MV cm-1, respectively. Higher leakage currents were observed under higher proton doses at 5 × 1013 cm-2, resulting in lower breakdown fields. The degradation stages of proton-irradiated h-BN are similar to those of defective silicon dioxide. The degradation of the h-BN dielectric after proton irradiation is attributed to Frenkel defects created by the high-energy protons, as indicated by the molecular dynamics simulation. Understanding the defect-induced degradation mechanism of h-BN nano-layers can improve their reliability, paving the way to the implementation of 2D h-BN in advanced micro- and nano-electronics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Space Core Technology Development Program (2017M1A3A3A02015033) through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea.
© 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Chemical Engineering