Patents by Inventor S. Herner

S. Herner 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).

  • Publication number: 20080079063
    Abstract: A bottom-gate thin film transistor having a silicide gate is described. This transistor is advantageously formed as SONOS-type nonvolatile memory cell, and methods are described to efficiently and robustly form a monolithic three dimensional memory array of such cells. The fabrication methods described avoid photolithography over topography and difficult stack etches of prior art monolithic three dimensional memory arrays of charge storage devices. The use of a silicide gate rather than a polysilicon gate allows increased capacitance across the gate oxide.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Publication date: April 3, 2008
    Inventor: S. HERNER
  • Publication number: 20080026510
    Abstract: A nonvolatile memory cell according to the present invention comprises a bottom conductor, a semiconductor pillar, and a top conductor. The semiconductor pillar comprises a junction diode, including a bottom heavily doped region, a middle intrinsic or lightly doped region, and a top heavily doped region, wherein the conductivity types of the top and bottom heavily doped region are opposite. The junction diode is vertically oriented and is of reduced height, between about 500 angstroms and about 3500 angstroms. A monolithic three dimensional memory array of such cells can be formed comprising multiple memory levels, the levels monolithically formed above one another.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2007
    Publication date: January 31, 2008
    Inventors: S. HERNER, Steven Radigan
  • Publication number: 20080017912
    Abstract: A nonvolatile memory device includes at least one memory cell which comprises a first diode portion, a second diode portion and an antifuse separating the first diode portion from the second diode portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2007
    Publication date: January 24, 2008
    Inventors: Tanmay Kumar, S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20080013355
    Abstract: The present invention relates to use of selective oxidation to oxidize silicon in the presence of tungsten and/or tungsten nitride in memory cells and memory arrays. This technique is especially useful in monolithic three dimensional memory arrays. In one aspect of the invention, the silicon of a diode-antifuse memory cell is selectively oxidized to repair etch damage and reduce leakage, while exposed tungsten of adjacent conductors and tungsten nitride of a barrier layer are not oxidized. In some embodiments, selective oxidation may be useful for gap fill. In another aspect of the invention, TFT arrays made up of charge storage memory cells comprising a polysilicon/tungsten nitride/tungsten gate can be subjected to selective oxidation to passivate the gate polysilicon and reduce leakage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2007
    Publication date: January 17, 2008
    Inventor: S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20080013364
    Abstract: A method of making a nonvolatile memory device includes forming a first electrode, forming at least one nonvolatile memory cell comprising a first diode portion, a second diode portion and an antifuse separating the first diode portion from the second diode portion, and forming a second electrode over the at least one nonvolatile memory cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2007
    Publication date: January 17, 2008
    Inventors: Tanmay Kumar, S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20080007989
    Abstract: A method of operating a nonvolatile memory cell includes providing the nonvolatile memory cell comprising a diode which is fabricated in a first resistivity, unprogrammed state, and applying a forward bias to the diode having a magnitude greater than a minimum voltage required for programming the diode to switch the diode to a second resistivity, programmed state. The second resistivity state is lower than the first resistivity state.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2007
    Publication date: January 10, 2008
    Inventors: Tanmay Kumar, S. Herner, Christopher Petti
  • Publication number: 20080009105
    Abstract: An antifuse contains a first silicide layer, a grown silicon oxide antifuse layer on a first surface of the first silicide layer, and a first semiconductor layer having a first surface in contact with the antifuse layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 13, 2007
    Publication date: January 10, 2008
    Inventor: S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20070246764
    Abstract: The present invention provides for a low-temperature method to crystallize a silicon-germanium film. Metal-induced crystallization of a deposited silicon film can serve to reduce the temperature required to crystallize the film. Increasing germanium content in a silicon-germanium alloy further decreases crystallization temperature. By using metal-induced crystallization to crystallize a deposited silicon-germanium film, temperature can be reduced substantially. In preferred embodiments, for example in a monolithic three dimensional array of stacked memory levels, reduced temperature allows the use of aluminum metallization. In some embodiments, use of metal-induced crystallization in a vertically oriented silicon-germanium diode having conductive contacts at the top and bottom end is be particularly advantageous, as increased solubility of the metal catalyst in the contact material will reduce the risk of metal contamination of the diode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2006
    Publication date: October 25, 2007
    Applicant: SanDisk 3D, LLC
    Inventor: S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20070236981
    Abstract: A nonvolatile memory cell includes a layer of a resistivity-switching metal oxide or nitride compound, the metal oxide or nitride compound including one metal, and a dielectric rupture antifuse formed in series. The dielectric rupture antifuse may be either in its initial, non-conductive state or a ruptured, conductive state. The resistivity-switching metal oxide or nitride layer can be in a higher- or lower-resistivity state. By using both the state of the resistivity-switching layer and the antifuse to store data, more than two bits can be stored per memory cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2006
    Publication date: October 11, 2007
    Applicant: SanDisk 3D, LLC
    Inventor: S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20070228414
    Abstract: In the present invention a metal oxide or nitride compound which is a wide-band-gap semiconductor abuts a silicon, germanium, or alloy of silicon and/or germanium of the opposite conductivity type to form a p-n heterojunction. This p-n heterojunction can be used to advantage in various devices. In preferred embodiments, one terminal of a vertically oriented p-i-n heterojunction diode is a metal oxide or nitride layer, while the rest of the diode is formed of a silicon or silicon-germanium resistor; for example a diode may include a heavily doped n-type silicon region, an intrinsic silicon region, and a nickel oxide layer serving as the p-type terminal. Many of these metal oxides and nitrides exhibit resistivity-switching behavior, and such a heterojunction diode can be used in a nonvolatile memory cell, for example in a monolithic three dimensional memory array.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2006
    Publication date: October 4, 2007
    Applicant: SanDisk 3D, LLC
    Inventors: Tanmay Kumar, S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20070190722
    Abstract: A method is disclosed to form an upward-pointing p-i-n diode formed of deposited silicon, germanium, or silicon-germanium. The diode has a bottom heavily doped p-type region, a middle intrinsic or lightly doped region, and a top heavily doped n-type region. The top heavily doped p-type region is doped with arsenic, and the semiconductor material of the diode is crystallized in contact with an appropriate silicide, germanide, or silicide-germanide. A large array of such upward-pointing diodes can be formed with excellent uniformity of current across the array when a voltage above the turn-on voltage of the diodes is applied. This diode is advantageously used in a monolithic three dimensional memory array.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2007
    Publication date: August 16, 2007
    Inventor: S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20070114508
    Abstract: A layer of resistivity-switching metal oxide or nitride can attain at least two stable resistivity states. Such a layer may be used in a state-change element in a nonvolatile memory cell, storing its data state, for example a “0” or a “1”, in this resistivity state. Including additional metal atoms in a layer of such a resistivity-switching metal oxide or nitride compound decreases the current required to cause switching between resistivity states, reducing power requirements for an array of memory cells storing data in the resistivity state of such a layer. In various embodiments a memory cell may include a layer of resistivity-switching metal oxide or nitride compound with added metal formed in series with another element, such as a diode or a transistor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 23, 2005
    Publication date: May 24, 2007
    Applicant: Matrix Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventors: S. Herner, Tanmay Kumar
  • Publication number: 20070114509
    Abstract: Oxides of both nickel and cobalt have lower resistivity than either nickel oxide or cobalt oxide. Nickel oxide and cobalt oxide can be reversibly switched between two or more stable resistivity states by application of suitable electrical pulses. It is expected that oxides including both nickel and cobalt, or (NixCoy)O, will switch between resistivity states at lower voltage and/or current than will nickel oxide or cobalt oxide. A layer of (NixCoy)O can be paired with a diode or transistor to form a nonvolatile memory cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 24, 2006
    Publication date: May 24, 2007
    Applicant: SanDisk 3D LLC
    Inventor: S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20070102724
    Abstract: Use of antimony as an n-type conductivity-enhancing dopant in semiconductor structures having a vertical dopant profile is described. Dopants tend to diffuse, and steep dopant gradients can be difficult to maintain. Specifically, when a silicon layer is doped with phosphorus or arsenic, both n-type dopants, dopant atoms tend to seek the surface as undoped silicon is deposited on top of the n-doped layer, rising through the undoped silicon during deposition. Antimony does not have this tendency, and also diffuses more slowly than either phosphorus or arsenic, and this is advantageously used to dope such structures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2005
    Publication date: May 10, 2007
    Applicant: Matrix Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventors: Tanmay Kumar, S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20070105284
    Abstract: A memory cell is formed of a semiconductor junction diode in series with an antifuse. The cell is programmed by rupture of the antifuse. The semiconductor junction diode comprises silicon, the silicon crystallized in contact with a silicide. The silicide apparently provides a template for crystallization, improving crystallinity and conductivity of the diode, and reducing the programming voltage required to program the cell. It is advantageous to reduce a dielectric layer (such as an oxide, nitride, or oxynitride) intervening between the silicon and the silicon-forming metal during the step of forming the silicide.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2006
    Publication date: May 10, 2007
    Inventor: S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20070090425
    Abstract: A nonvolatile memory cell comprising doped semiconductor material and a diode can store memory states by changing the resistance of the doped semiconductor material by application of a set pulse (decreasing resistance) or a reset pulse (increasing resistance.) Set pulses are of short duration and above a threshold voltage, while reset pulses are longer duration and below a threshold voltage. In some embodiments multiple resistance states can be achieved, allowing for a multi-state cell, while restoring a prior high-resistance state allows for an rewriteable cell. In some embodiments, the diode and a switchable memory formed of doped semiconductor material are formed in series, while in other embodiments, the diode itself serves as the semiconductor switchable memory element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2005
    Publication date: April 26, 2007
    Applicant: Matrix Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventors: Tanmay Kumar, S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20070087508
    Abstract: A method is described for forming a nonvolatile one-time-programmable memory cell having reduced programming voltage. A contiguous p-i-n diode is paired with a dielectric rupture antifuse formed of a high-dielectric-constant material, having a dielectric constant greater than about 8. In preferred embodiments, the high-dielectric-constant material is formed by atomic layer deposition. The diode is preferably formed of deposited low-defect semiconductor material, crystallized in contact with a silicide. A monolithic three dimensional memory array of such cells can be formed in stacked memory levels above the wafer substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2006
    Publication date: April 19, 2007
    Inventor: S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20070069217
    Abstract: A method is described for forming a nonvolatile one-time-programmable memory cell having reduced programming voltage. A contiguous p-i-n diode is paired with a dielectric rupture antifuse formed of a high-dielectric-constant material, having a dielectric constant greater than about 8. In preferred embodiments, the high-dielectric-constant material is formed by atomic layer deposition. The diode is preferably formed of deposited low-defect semiconductor material, crystallized in contact with a silicide. A monolithic three dimensional memory array of such cells can be formed in stacked memory levels above the wafer substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2006
    Publication date: March 29, 2007
    Inventor: S. Herner
  • Publication number: 20060250836
    Abstract: In a novel rewriteable nonvolatile memory cell formed above a substrate, a diode is paired with a reversible resistance-switching material, preferably a metal oxide or nitride such as, for example, NiO, Nb2O5, TiO2, HfO2, Al2O3, MgOx, CrO2, VO, BN, and AlN. In preferred embodiments, the diode is formed as a vertical pillar disposed between conductors. Multiple memory levels can be stacked to form a monolithic three dimensional memory array. In some embodiments, the diode comprises germanium or a germanium alloy, which can be deposited and crystallized at relatively low temperatures, allowing use of aluminum or copper in the conductors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2005
    Publication date: November 9, 2006
    Applicant: Matrix Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventors: S. Herner, Christopher Petti
  • Publication number: 20060249753
    Abstract: A memory cell is described suitable for use in a high-density monolithic three dimensional memory array. In preferred embodiments of the memory cell, a semiconductor junction diode formed of germanium or a germanium alloy which can be crystallized at relatively low temperature is formed disposed between conductors. The use of a low-temperature material allows the conductors to be formed of copper or aluminum, both low-resistivity materials that provide adequate current at very small feature size, allowing for a highly dense stacked array.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2005
    Publication date: November 9, 2006
    Applicant: Matrix Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventors: S. Herner, Samuel Dunton