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Term (Index) Definition
breakdown  catastrophic effect occurring in the presence of high electric field and causing originally high resistance element (e.g. MOS capacitor of reverse biased p-n junction) to allow flow of high current; typically an irreversible effect permanently damaging the element; also occurs in materials in the presence of very high electric field.
oxide breakdown  irriversible change in physical properties of an insulating oxide as a result of very high electric field in the oxide; as a result of "breakdown" oxide no longer displays insulating properties.

Reference: See Semiconductor Note #20 for more information
Ebd  electric field in the MOS gate oxide at which it breaks down, i.e. looses its insulating properties in an irreversible manner; Ebd is measured by increasing voltage (ramped voltage) applied to MOS gate while monitoring current flowing across the gate oxide.
GOI  Gate Oxide Integrity; term implies electrical "integrity" of gate oxide; determined through various current/voltage/electric field stress tests of MOS gate stacks.
TDDB  Time Dependent Dielectric Breakdown; common technique to evaluate reliability of gate oxides in MOS devices; either time needed to break an oxide stressed with high voltage is measured (CVS - Constant Voltage Stress), or time of current injection into the oxide after which oxide fails (CCS -Constant Current Stress).
Term (Index) Definition
avalanche breakdown  breakdown due to current increase caused by avalanche multiplication of charge carriers in the region featuring very high electric field.
Zener effect  occurs in heavily doped p-n junctions at high reverse-bias voltage; energy bands in the junction region are sloped in such way that electron may tunnel directly from the valence band in n-type region to the conduction band in p-type region causing rapid increase of curreent; may cause breakdown of p-n junction but also can be used in a controlled fashion to make a functional device (Zener diode).
Term (Index) Definition
breakdown field  electric field at which breakdown in the material occurs and material looses its resistance against current flow; electric field in Si - 2.5x105 V/cm, GaAs - 3x105 V/cm, 6H-SiC - 40x105 V/cm, thermal SiO2 -107 V/cm
Term (Index) Definition
breakdown voltage  voltage at which breakdown occurs and current increases uncontrollably (unless limited by the external circuit) and breakdown occurs.
ramp voltage oxide breakdown, Ebd  measure of reliability of oxides in MOS gates; gate voltage is gradually increased until oxide breaks down (uncontrolled current flows across the oxide)and oxide breakdown voltage is determined; a TZDB method; oxide breakdown field is a ratio of breakdown voltage over oxide thickness typically expressed in MV/cm.
Term (Index) Definition
breakdown, hard  irreversible, catastrophic breakdown of an oxide in MOS structures.
oxide breakdown  irriversible change in physical properties of an insulating oxide as a result of very high electric field in the oxide; as a result of "breakdown" oxide no longer displays insulating properties.

Reference: See Semiconductor Note #20 for more information
breakdown, soft  leakage current in MOS structure exceeds predetermined threshold value without casing permanent damage to the oxide; can be reversed by reducing field in the oxide.
Term (Index) Definition
breakdown, soft  leakage current in MOS structure exceeds predetermined threshold value without casing permanent damage to the oxide; can be reversed by reducing field in the oxide.
oxide breakdown  irriversible change in physical properties of an insulating oxide as a result of very high electric field in the oxide; as a result of "breakdown" oxide no longer displays insulating properties.

Reference: See Semiconductor Note #20 for more information
breakdown, hard  irreversible, catastrophic breakdown of an oxide in MOS structures.
Term (Index) Definition
hard breakdown  catastrophic, irreversible breakdown of the MOS gate oxide.
Term (Index) Definition
oxide breakdown  irriversible change in physical properties of an insulating oxide as a result of very high electric field in the oxide; as a result of "breakdown" oxide no longer displays insulating properties.

Reference: See Semiconductor Note #20 for more information
progressive breakdown  gradual degradation, and eventual breakdown, of the very thin gate oxide in MOS devices under the prolonged electric field stress.
hard breakdown  catastrophic, irreversible breakdown of the MOS gate oxide.
soft breakdown  excessive leakage current in the MOS gate oxide, but no irreversible breakdown of the oxide.
Term (Index) Definition
progressive breakdown  gradual degradation, and eventual breakdown, of the very thin gate oxide in MOS devices under the prolonged electric field stress.
oxide breakdown  irriversible change in physical properties of an insulating oxide as a result of very high electric field in the oxide; as a result of "breakdown" oxide no longer displays insulating properties.

Reference: See Semiconductor Note #20 for more information
Time-Dependent Dielectric Breakdown, TDDB  technique to evaluate reliability of gate oxides in MOS devices; breakdown of the oxide resulting from the prolonged stress; either time needed to break voltage stressed oxide is measured (CVS - Constant Voltage Stress), or time of current injection into the oxide after which oxide fails (CCS - Constant Current Stress).

Reference: Click here for additional information
Term (Index) Definition
ramp voltage oxide breakdown, Ebd  measure of reliability of oxides in MOS gates; gate voltage is gradually increased until oxide breaks down (uncontrolled current flows across the oxide)and oxide breakdown voltage is determined; a TZDB method; oxide breakdown field is a ratio of breakdown voltage over oxide thickness typically expressed in MV/cm.
oxide breakdown  irriversible change in physical properties of an insulating oxide as a result of very high electric field in the oxide; as a result of "breakdown" oxide no longer displays insulating properties.

Reference: See Semiconductor Note #20 for more information
charge-to-breakdown, Qbd  measure of reliability of oxides in MOS gates; certain current is forced through the oxide at the constant gate voltage; point in time at which voltage drops (indicating oxide failure) is determined; knowing current and time to breakdown total charge needed to break the oxide is determined; a TDDB method.
Time-Dependent Dielectric Breakdown, TDDB  technique to evaluate reliability of gate oxides in MOS devices; breakdown of the oxide resulting from the prolonged stress; either time needed to break voltage stressed oxide is measured (CVS - Constant Voltage Stress), or time of current injection into the oxide after which oxide fails (CCS - Constant Current Stress).

Reference: Click here for additional information
Time-Zero Dielectric Breakdown, TZDB  technique to evaluate reliability of gate oxides in MOS devices; oxide breakdown occuring without prolonged stress, i.e. under the condition of stress rapidly increasing from zero to oxide breakdown.

Reference: Click here for additional information
Term (Index) Definition
reverse breakdown voltage,  the value of reverse bias voltage that causes permanent breakdown of p-n junction, i.e. p-n junction is no longer capable of blocking current flow.
Term (Index) Definition
soft breakdown  excessive leakage current in the MOS gate oxide, but no irreversible breakdown of the oxide.
hard breakdown  catastrophic, irreversible breakdown of the MOS gate oxide.
Term (Index) Definition
Time-Dependent Dielectric Breakdown, TDDB  technique to evaluate reliability of gate oxides in MOS devices; breakdown of the oxide resulting from the prolonged stress; either time needed to break voltage stressed oxide is measured (CVS - Constant Voltage Stress), or time of current injection into the oxide after which oxide fails (CCS - Constant Current Stress).

Reference: Click here for additional information
charge-to-breakdown, Qbd  measure of reliability of oxides in MOS gates; certain current is forced through the oxide at the constant gate voltage; point in time at which voltage drops (indicating oxide failure) is determined; knowing current and time to breakdown total charge needed to break the oxide is determined; a TDDB method.
Time-Zero Dielectric Breakdown, TZDB  technique to evaluate reliability of gate oxides in MOS devices; oxide breakdown occuring without prolonged stress, i.e. under the condition of stress rapidly increasing from zero to oxide breakdown.

Reference: Click here for additional information
Term (Index) Definition
Time-Zero Dielectric Breakdown, TZDB  technique to evaluate reliability of gate oxides in MOS devices; oxide breakdown occuring without prolonged stress, i.e. under the condition of stress rapidly increasing from zero to oxide breakdown.

Reference: Click here for additional information
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