Patents by Inventor Ru-Ying Tong

Ru-Ying Tong has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 11417835
    Abstract: A magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) is disclosed wherein first and second interfaces of a free layer (FL) with a first metal oxide (Hk enhancing layer) and second metal oxide (tunnel barrier), respectively, produce perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) to increase thermal stability. In some embodiments, a capping layer that is a conductive metal nitride such as MoN contacts an opposite surface of the Hk enhancing layer with respect to the first interface to reduce interdiffusion of oxygen and nitrogen compared with a TiN capping layer and maintain an acceptable resistance x area (RA) product. In other embodiments, the capping layer may comprise an insulating nitride such as AlN that is alloyed with a conductive metal to minimize RA. Furthermore, a metallic buffer layer may be inserted between the capping layer and Hk enhancing layer. As a result, electrical shorts are reduced and the magnetoresistive ratio is increased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Jodi Mari Iwata, Guenole Jan, Ru-Ying Tong, Vignesh Sundar, Jian Zhu, Huanlong Liu
  • Patent number: 11411174
    Abstract: A plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) method is disclosed for forming a SiON encapsulation layer on a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) sidewall that minimizes attack on the MTJ sidewall during the PECVD or subsequent processes. The PECVD method provides a higher magnetoresistive ratio for the MTJ than conventional methods after a 400° C. anneal. In one embodiment, the SiON encapsulation layer is deposited using a N2O:silane flow rate ratio of at least 1:1 but less than 15:1. A N2O plasma treatment may be performed immediately following the PECVD to ensure there is no residual silane in the SiON encapsulation layer. In another embodiment, a first (lower) SiON sub-layer has a greater Si content than a second (upper) SiON sub-layer. A second encapsulation layer is formed on the SiON encapsulation layer so that the encapsulation layers completely fill the gaps between adjacent MTJs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2022
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Vignesh Sundar, Yu-Jen Wang, Dongna Shen, Sahil Patel, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Publication number: 20220246841
    Abstract: A magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) is disclosed wherein a free layer (FL) interfaces with a metal oxide (Mox) layer and a tunnel barrier layer to produce interfacial perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA). The Mox layer has a non-stoichiometric oxidation state to minimize parasitic resistance, and comprises a dopant to fill vacant lattice sites thereby blocking oxygen diffusion through the Mox layer to preserve interfacial PMA and high thermal stability at process temperatures up to 400° C. Various methods of forming the doped Mox layer include deposition of the M layer in a reactive environment of 02 and dopant species in gas form, exposing a metal oxide layer to dopant species in gas form, and ion implanting the dopant. In another embodiment, where the dopant is N, a metal nitride layer is formed on a metal oxide layer, and then an anneal step drives nitrogen into vacant sites in the metal oxide lattice.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 25, 2022
    Publication date: August 4, 2022
    Inventors: Guenole Jan, Jodi Mari Iwata, Ru-Ying Tong, Huanlong Liu, Yuan-Jen Lee, Jian Zhu
  • Publication number: 20220149272
    Abstract: A perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction is disclosed wherein a metal insertion (MIS) layer is formed within a free layer (FL), a partially oxidized Hk enhancing layer is on the FL, and a nitride capping layer having a buffer layer/nitride layer (NL) is on the Hk enhancing layer to provide an improved coercivity (Hc)/switching current (Jc) ratio for spintronic applications. Magnetoresistive ratio is maintained above 100%, resistance×area (RA) product is below 5 ohm/?m2, and thermal stability to 400° C. is realized. The FL comprises two or more sub-layers, and the MIS layer may be formed within at least one sub-layer or between sub-layers. The buffer layer is used to prevent oxygen diffusion to the NL, and nitrogen diffusion from the NL to the FL. FL thickness is from 11 Angstroms to 25 Angstroms while MIS layer thickness is preferably from 0.5 Angstroms to 4 Angstroms.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2022
    Publication date: May 12, 2022
    Inventors: Santiago Serrano Guisan, Luc Thomas, Jodi Mari Iwata, Guenole Jan, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Patent number: 11316103
    Abstract: A process flow for forming magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) nanopillars with minimal sidewall residue and minimal sidewall damage is disclosed wherein a pattern is first formed in a hard mask that is an uppermost MTJ layer. Thereafter, the hard mask sidewall is etch transferred through the remaining MTJ layers including a reference layer, free layer, and tunnel barrier between the free layer and reference layer. The etch transfer may be completed in a single RIE step that features a physical component involving inert gas ions or plasma, and a chemical component comprised of ions or plasma generated from one or more of methanol, ethanol, ammonia, and CO. In other embodiments, a chemical treatment with one of the aforementioned chemicals, and a volatilization at 50° C. to 450° C. may follow an etch transfer through the MTJ stack with an ion beam etch or plasma etch involving inert gas ions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Dongna Shen, Yu-Jen Wang, Ru-Ying Tong, Vignesh Sundar, Sahil Patel
  • Patent number: 11316098
    Abstract: A magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) is disclosed wherein a free layer (FL) interfaces with a metal oxide (Mox) layer and a tunnel barrier layer to produce interfacial perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA). The Mox layer has a non-stoichiometric oxidation state to minimize parasitic resistance, and comprises a dopant to fill vacant lattice sites thereby blocking oxygen diffusion through the Mox layer to preserve interfacial PMA and high thermal stability at process temperatures up to 400° C. Various methods of forming the doped Mox layer include deposition of the M layer in a reactive environment of O2 and dopant species in gas form, exposing a metal oxide layer to dopant species in gas form, and ion implanting the dopant. In another embodiment, where the dopant is N, a metal nitride layer is formed on a metal oxide layer, and then an anneal step drives nitrogen into vacant sites in the metal oxide lattice.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Guenole Jan, Jodi Mari Iwata, Ru-Ying Tong, Huanlong Lui, Yuan-Jen Lee, Jian Zhu
  • Patent number: 11289645
    Abstract: A complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) device comprises a first metal line, a first metal via on the first metal line, a magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ) device on the first metal via wherein the first metal via acts as a bottom electrode for the MTJ device, a second metal via on the MTJ device, and a second metal line on the second metal via.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Yi Yang, Vignesh Sundar, Dongna Shen, Sahil Patel, Ru-Ying Tong, Yu-Jen Wang
  • Patent number: 11264566
    Abstract: A perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction is disclosed wherein a metal insertion (MIS) layer is formed within a free layer (FL), a partially oxidized Hk enhancing layer is on the FL, and a nitride capping layer having a buffer layer/nitride layer (NL) is on the Hk enhancing layer to provide an improved coercivity (Hc)/switching current (Jc) ratio for spintronic applications. Magnetoresistive ratio is maintained above 100%, resistance×area (RA) product is below 5 ohm/?m2, and thermal stability to 400° C. is realized. The FL comprises two or more sub-layers, and the MIS layer may be formed within at least one sub-layer or between sub-layers. The buffer layer is used to prevent oxygen diffusion to the NL, and nitrogen diffusion from the NL to the FL. FL thickness is from 11 Angstroms to 25 Angstroms while MIS layer thickness is preferably from 0.5 Angstroms to 4 Angstroms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2022
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Santiago Serrano Guisan, Luc Thomas, Jodi Mari Iwata, Guenole Jan, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Patent number: 11264560
    Abstract: A perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction is disclosed wherein first and second interfaces of a free layer (FL) with a first metal oxide (Hk enhancing layer) and second metal oxide (tunnel barrier), respectively, produce perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) to provide thermal stability to 400° C. Insertion of an oxidation control layer (OCL) such as Mg and a magnetic moment tuning layer (MMTL) like Mo or W enables FL thickness to be reduced below 10 Angstroms while providing sufficient PMA for a switching voltage substantially less than 500 mV at a 10 ns pulse width and 1 ppm defect rate. Magnetoresistive ratio is ?1, and resistance×area (RA) product is below 5 ohm-?m2. Embodiments are provided where MMTL and OCL materials interface with each other, or do not contact each other. Each of the MMTL and OCL materials may be deposited separately, or at least one is co-deposited with the FL.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2022
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Jodi Mari Iwata, Guenole Jan, Santiago Serrano Guisan, Luc Thomas, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Publication number: 20210391533
    Abstract: A magnetic element is disclosed wherein a composite seed layer such as TaN/Mg enhances perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) in an overlying magnetic layer that may be a reference layer, free layer, or dipole layer. The first seed layer is selected from one or more of Ta, Zr, Nb, TaN, ZrN, NbN, and Ru. The second seed layer is selected from one or more of Mg, Sr, Ti, Al, V, Hf, B, and Si. A growth promoting layer made of NiCr or an alloy thereof is inserted between the seed layer and magnetic layer. In some embodiments, a first composite seed layer/NiCr stack is formed below the reference layer, and a second composite seed layer/NiCr stack is formed between the free layer and a dipole layer. The magnetic element has thermal stability to at least 400° C.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2021
    Publication date: December 16, 2021
    Inventors: Guenole Jan, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Publication number: 20210375343
    Abstract: A perpendicularly magnetized magnetic tunnel junction (p-MTJ) is disclosed wherein a free layer (FL) has a first interface with a MgO tunnel barrier, a second interface with a Mo or W Hk enhancing layer, and is comprised of FexCoyBz wherein x is 66-80, y is 5-9, z is 15-28, and (x+y+z)=100 to simultaneously provide a magnetoresistive ratio >100%, resistance x area product <5 ohm/?m2, switching voltage <0.15V (direct current), and sufficient Hk to ensure thermal stability to 400° C. annealing. The FL may further comprise one or more M elements such as O or N to give (FexCoyBz)wM100-w where w is >90 atomic %. Alternatively, the FL is a trilayer with a FeB layer contacting MgO to induce Hk at the first interface, a middle FeCoB layer for enhanced magnetoresistive ratio, and a Fe or FeB layer adjoining the Hk enhancing layer to increase thermal stability.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 9, 2021
    Publication date: December 2, 2021
    Inventors: Hideaki Fukuzawa, Vignesh Sundar, Yu-Jen Wang, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Publication number: 20210367146
    Abstract: A ferromagnetic layer is capped with a metallic oxide (or nitride) layer that provides a perpendicular-to-plane magnetic anisotropy to the layer. The surface of the ferromagnetic layer is treated with a plasma to prevent diffusion of oxygen (or nitrogen) into the layer interior. An exemplary metallic oxide layer is formed as a layer of metallic Mg that is plasma treated to reduce its grain size and enhance the diffusivity of oxygen into its interior. Then the plasma treated Mg layer is naturally oxidized and, optionally, is again plasma treated to reduce its thickness and remove the oxygen rich upper surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 7, 2021
    Publication date: November 25, 2021
    Inventors: Guenole Jan, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Publication number: 20210293912
    Abstract: A magnetic device for magnetic random access memory (MRAM), spin torque MRAM, or spin torque oscillator technology is disclosed wherein a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) with a sidewall is formed between a bottom electrode and a top electrode. A passivation layer that is a single layer or multilayer comprising one of B, C, or Ge, or an alloy thereof wherein the B, C, and Ge content, respectively, is at least 10 atomic % is formed on the MTJ sidewall to protect the MTJ from reactive species during subsequent processing including deposition of a dielectric layer that electrically isolates the MTJ from adjacent MTJs, and during annealing steps around 400° C. in CMOS fabrication. The single layer is about 3 to 10 Angstroms thick and may be an oxide or nitride of B, C, or Ge. The passivation layer is preferably amorphous to prevent diffusion of reactive oxygen or nitrogen species.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 1, 2021
    Publication date: September 23, 2021
    Inventors: Jodi Mari Iwata, Guenole Jan, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Patent number: 11107977
    Abstract: A magnetic element is disclosed wherein a composite seed layer such as TaN/Mg enhances perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) in an overlying magnetic layer that may be a reference layer, free layer, or dipole layer. The first seed layer is selected from one or more of Ta, Zr, Nb, TaN, ZrN, NbN, and Ru. The second seed layer is selected from one or more of Mg, Sr, Ti, Al, V, Hf, B, and Si. A growth promoting layer made of NiCr or an alloy thereof is inserted between the seed layer and magnetic layer. In some embodiments, a first composite seed layer/NiCr stack is formed below the reference layer, and a second composite seed layer/NiCr stack is formed between the free layer and a dipole layer. The magnetic element has thermal stability to at least 400° C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Guenole Jan, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Patent number: 11087810
    Abstract: A perpendicularly magnetized magnetic tunnel junction (p-MTJ) is disclosed wherein a free layer (FL) has a first interface with a MgO tunnel barrier, a second interface with a Mo or W Hk enhancing layer, and is comprised of FexCoyBz wherein x is 66-80, y is 5-9, z is 15-28, and (x+y+z)=100 to simultaneously provide a magnetoresistive ratio >100%, resistance x area product <5 ohm/?m2, switching voltage <0.15 V (direct current), and sufficient Hk to ensure thermal stability to 400° C. annealing. The FL may further comprise one or more M elements such as O or N to give (FexCoyBz)wM100-w where w is >90 atomic %. Alternatively, the FL is a trilayer with a FeB layer contacting MgO to induce Hk at the first interface, a middle FeCoB layer for enhanced magnetoresistive ratio, and a Fe or FeB layer adjoining the Hk enhancing layer to increase thermal stability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2021
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Hideaki Fukuzawa, Vignesh Sundar, Yu-Jen Wang, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Publication number: 20210234092
    Abstract: A method of forming a MTJ with a tunnel barrier having a high tunneling magnetoresistance ratio, and low resistance x area value is disclosed. The method preserves perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in bottom and top magnetic layers that adjoin bottom and top surfaces of the tunnel barrier. A key feature is a passive oxidation step of a first Mg layer that is deposited on the bottom magnetic layer wherein a maximum oxygen pressure is 10-5 torr. A bottom portion of the first Mg layer remains unoxidized thereby protecting the bottom magnetic layer from substantial oxidation during subsequent oxidation and anneal processes that are employed to complete the fabrication of the tunnel barrier and MTJ. An uppermost Mg layer may be formed as the top layer in the tunnel barrier stack before a top magnetic layer is deposited.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 14, 2021
    Publication date: July 29, 2021
    Inventors: Huanlong Liu, Jian Zhu, Keyu Pi, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Publication number: 20210210680
    Abstract: A perpendicularly magnetized magnetic tunnel junction (p-MTJ) is disclosed wherein a boron containing free layer (FL) is subjected to a plasma treatment with inert gas, and a natural oxidation (NOX) process to form B2O3 before overlying layers are deposited. A metal layer such as Mg is deposited on the FL as a first step in forming a Hk enhancing layer that increases FL perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, or as a first step in forming a tunnel barrier layer on the FL. One or more anneal steps are essential in assisting B2O3 segregation from the free layer and thereby increasing the FL magnetic moment. A post-oxidation plasma treatment may also be used to partially remove B2O3 proximate to the FL top surface before the metal layer is deposited. Both plasma treatments use low power (<50 Watts) to remove a maximum of 2 Angstroms FL thickness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2021
    Publication date: July 8, 2021
    Inventors: Guenole Jan, Jodi Mari Iwata, Ru-Ying Tong, Huanlong Liu, Yuan-Jen Lee, Jian Zhu
  • Publication number: 20210210674
    Abstract: A synthetic antiferromagnetic structure for a spintronic device is disclosed and has an FL2/Co or Co alloy/antiferromagnetic coupling/Co or Co alloy/CoFeB configuration where FL2 is a ferromagnetic free layer with intrinsic PMA. Antiferromagnetic coupling is improved by inserting a Co or Co alloy dusting layer on top and bottom surfaces of the antiferromagnetic coupling layer. The FL2 layer may be a L10 ordered alloy, a rare earth-transition metal alloy, or an (A1/A2)n laminate where A1 is one of Co, CoFe, or an alloy thereof, and A2 is one of Pt, Pd, Rh, Ru, Ir, Mg, Mo, Os, Si, V, Ni, NiCo, and NiFe, or A1 is Fe and A2 is V. A method is also provided for forming the synthetic antiferromagnetic structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 14, 2020
    Publication date: July 8, 2021
    Inventors: Robert Beach, Guenole Jan, Yu-Jen Wang, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Patent number: 11031547
    Abstract: A ferromagnetic layer is capped with a metallic oxide (or nitride) layer that provides a perpendicular-to-plane magnetic anisotropy to the layer. The surface of the ferromagnetic layer is treated with a plasma to prevent diffusion of oxygen (or nitrogen) into the layer interior. An exemplary metallic oxide layer is formed as a layer of metallic Mg that is plasma treated to reduce its grain size and enhance the diffusivity of oxygen into its interior. Then the plasma treated Mg layer is naturally oxidized and, optionally, is again plasma treated to reduce its thickness and remove the oxygen rich upper surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Guenole Jan, Ru-Ying Tong
  • Patent number: 11024798
    Abstract: A magnetic device for magnetic random access memory (MRAM), spin torque MRAM, or spin torque oscillator technology is disclosed wherein a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) with a sidewall is formed between a bottom electrode and a top electrode. A passivation layer that is a single layer or multilayer comprising one of B, C, or Ge, or an alloy thereof wherein the B, C, and Ge content, respectively, is at least 10 atomic % is formed on the MTJ sidewall to protect the MTJ from reactive species during subsequent processing including deposition of a dielectric layer that electrically isolates the MTJ from adjacent MTJs, and during annealing steps around 400° C. in CMOS fabrication. The single layer is about 3 to 10 Angstroms thick and may be an oxide or nitride of B, C, or Ge. The passivation layer is preferably amorphous to prevent diffusion of reactive oxygen or nitrogen species.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Jodi Mari Iwata, Guenole Jan, Ru-Ying Tong