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Publication numberUS20020056870 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/043,218
Publication dateMay 16, 2002
Filing dateJan 14, 2002
Priority dateJun 30, 1999
Also published asUS6339006
Publication number043218, 10043218, US 2002/0056870 A1, US 2002/056870 A1, US 20020056870 A1, US 20020056870A1, US 2002056870 A1, US 2002056870A1, US-A1-20020056870, US-A1-2002056870, US2002/0056870A1, US2002/056870A1, US20020056870 A1, US20020056870A1, US2002056870 A1, US2002056870A1
InventorsMin Lee, Hee Chang, Hee Lee, Dong Lee
Original AssigneeHyundai Electronics Industries Co., Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flash EEPROM cell and method of manufacturing the same
US 20020056870 A1
Abstract
The invention relates to a flash EEPROM cell and method of manufacturing the same. The method of manufacturing a flash EEPROM cell includes sequentially forming a tunnel oxide film, a polysilicon layer for a floating gate and a hard mask layer on a semiconductor substrate; patterning the hard mask layer and then forming a hard mask layer spacer at the etching side of the patterned hard mask layer; removing the exposed portion of the ploysilicon layer for the floating gate by etching process using the patterned hard mask layer and the hard mask layer spacer as etching masks thus to form first and second patterns that are separated in two; removing the patterned hard mask layer and the hard mask layer spacer and then depositing a dielectric film and a polysilicon layer for a floating gate on the entire structure, thus forming a first floating gate, a second floating gate and a control gate by self-aligned etching process; and forming a drain junction and a source junction by cell source/drain ion implantation process. Thus, the present invention can prevent lower of the quality of the tunnel oxide film and thus increase the coupling ratio.
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Claims(13)
What is claimed is:
1. A flash EEPROM cell, comprising:
first and second floating gates, that are different in size and separated in two, formed to be electrically separated from a semiconductor substrate by a tunnel oxide film;
control gate formed to be electrically separated from said first and second floating gates by a dielectric film;
drain junction formed on said semiconductor substrate at the side of said first floating gate; and
source junction formed on said semiconductor substrate at the side of said second floating gate.
2. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 1, wherein the ratio of the size of the first floating gate to the second floating gate is {fraction (1/3)} to less than 1.
3. A flash EEPROM cell comprising:
a semiconductor substrate;
spaced apart drain and source junctions formed in the semiconductor substrate;
spaced apart first and second portions of a first film formed above the semiconductor substrate, the first portion of the first film at least partially overlapping one of the drain and source junctions and the second portion of the first film at least partially overlapping the other of the drain and source junctions;
a first floating gate formed above the first portion of the first film and a second floating gate formed above the second portion of the first film, the first and second floating gates being spaced apart from one another by a gap and having opposing sidewalls;
a dielectic film formed above the first and second floating gates and also covering the opposing sidewalls of the first and second floating gates;
a control gate formed on the dielectric film, the control gate extending over both the first and second floating gates and also extending at least partially into said gap so as to be interposed between the opposing sidewalls of the first and second floating gates;
wherein the first and second floating gates are different in size.
4. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 3, wherein a ratio of the size of the first floating gate to the second floating gate is {fraction (1/3)} to less than 1.
5. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 3, wherein said first film has a thickness of 50 through 150 Angstroms.
6. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 3, wherein said dielectric film is made of a combination of oxide and nitride and has the thickness of 100 through 300 Angstroms.
7. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 3, wherein the first and second floating gates are formed from polysilicon having a thickness of 300 through 2000 Angstroms.
8. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 3, wherein the first and second floating gates are formed from polysilicon having a thickness of 300 through 2000 Angstroms.
9. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 3, wherein the control gate is formed from polysilicon having a thickness of 300 through 2000 Angstroms
10. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 3, wherein:
the first film has a thickness of 50 through 150 Angstroms;
the dielectric film is made of a combination of oxide and nitride and has a thickness of 100 through 300 Angstroms;
the first and second floating gates are formed from polysilicon having a thickness of 300 through 2000 Angstroms; and
the control gate is formed from polysilicon having a thickness of 300 through 2000 Angstroms.
11. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 10, wherein the ratio of the size of the first floating gate to the second floating gate is {fraction (1/3)} to less than 1.
12. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 3, wherein the drain junction is formed near the first floating gate and the source junction is formed near the second floating gate.
13. The flash EEPROM cell according to claim 12, wherein the ratio of the size of the first floating gate to the second floating gate is {fraction (1/3)} to less than 1.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This is a Divisional of application Ser. No. 09/609,337, filed Jun. 30, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,339,006.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The invention relates generally to a flash EEPROM cell and method of manufacturing the same. More particularly, the present invention relates to a flash EEPROM cell in which two floating gates having different sizes can be simply formed at a single cell using a hard mask layer in a multi-level cell, capable of preventing lower of the quality of a tunnel oxide film and increasing the coupling ratio, and method of manufacturing the same.

[0004] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0005] The greatest bottleneck to prevent customization of the current flash EEPROM is that the cost per unit information is high. For this, the higher integration of a cell is required and thus various manufacturers have made an effort to develop it. However, as the structure of the EEPROM is complicated compared to that of the DRAM, there is a problem that the integration level of the EEPROM is difficult to increase.

[0006] The conventional flash EEPROM cell has only two states (storing only binary information) depending on whether the electrons is charged at the floating gate or not. Thus, it has a drawback that the chip size is increased due to one bit per one cell in the large-scale configuration of the cell array depending on it.

[0007] On the other hand, as the multi-level cell has four states, it can store information at one cell instead of storing it at two cells. Thus, it can store much information at the same area. However, in the multi-level cell, as two floating gates have to be formed at one cell, many processes has to be experienced to manufacture it. Also, as forming the tunnel oxide film has to be performed in two steps, it is difficult to assure the quality of the tunnel oxide film and to assure the quality of the tunnel oxide film below a poly spacer in case of using the poly spacer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a flash EEPROM cell in which two floating gates having different size can be simply formed at a single cell using a hard mask layer in a multi-level cell, capable of preventing lower of the quality of a tunnel oxide film and increasing the coupling ratio, and method of manufacturing the same.

[0009] In order to accomplish the above object, a flash EEPROM cell according to the present invention is characterized in that it comprises first and second floating gates, that are different in size and separated in two, formed to be electrically separated from a semiconductor substrate by a tunnel oxide film; control gate formed to be electrically separated from said first and second floating gates by a dielectric film; drain junction formed on said semiconductor substrate at the side of said first floating gate; and source junction formed on said semiconductor substrate at the side of said second floating gate.

[0010] Also, in order to accomplish the above object, the method of manufacturing a flash EEPROM cell according to the present invention is characterized in that it comprises the steps of sequentially forming a tunnel oxide film, a polysilicon layer for a floating gate and a hard mask layer on a semiconductor substrate; patterning said hard mask layer and then forming a hard mask layer spacer at the etching side of the patterned hard mask layer; removing the exposed portion of the ploysilicon layer for the floating gate by etching process using said patterned hard mask layer and said hard mask layer spacer as etching masks thus to form first and second patterns that are separated in two; removing said patterned hard mask layer and said hard mask layer spacer and then depositing a dielectric film and a polysilicon layer for a floating gate on the entire structure, thus forming a first floating gate, a second floating gate and a control gate by self-aligned etching process; and forming a drain junction and a source junction by cell source/drain ion implantation process.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The aforementioned aspects and other features of the present invention will be explained in the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0012]FIGS. 1A through 1D are sectional views for explaining a flash EEPROM cell and method of manufacturing the same according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0013] The present invention will be described in detail by way of a preferred embodiment with reference to accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals are used to identify the same or similar parts.

[0014]FIGS. 1A through 1D are sectional views for explaining a flash EEPROM cell and method of manufacturing the same according to the present invention.

[0015] Referring now to FIG. 1A, a field oxide film (not shown) is formed and a tunnel oxide film 12 is formed on a semiconductor substrate 11 in which an active region and a field region are defined. Then, a polysilicon layer for the floating gate 13 is formed on the tunnel oxide film 12. Next, a hard mask layer 14 is formed on the polysilicon layer for the floating gate 13. Thereafter, a photoresist pattern 21 is formed on the hard mask 14 by exposure and developing process using the mask for the floating gate.

[0016] In the above, the tunnel oxide film 12 is formed in thickness of 50 through 150 Angstrom and the polysilicon layer 13 for the floating gate is formed in thickness of 300 through 2000 Angstrom. The hard mask layer 14 is formed of nitride, oxy-nitride, oxide etc. having a high etch selectivity upon etching of the polysilicon layer, in thickness of 200 through 2000 Angstrom. The photoresist pattern 21 is formed at a minimum feature size that can be formed by exposure process in order to reduce its chip size.

[0017] Referring to FIG. 1B, the mask layer 14 is patterned by etching process using the photoresist pattern 21 as an etching mask. After the photoresist pattern 21 is removed, a hard mask layer spacer 15 is formed at the etching face of the patterned hard mask layer 14.

[0018] In the above, the hard mask layer spacer 15 is formed of nitride, oxy-nitride, oxide etc. having a high etch selectivity upon etching of the polysilicon layer, in thickness of 200 through 2000 Angstrom, using blanket etching process. As the hard mask layer spacer 15 is formed, still smaller size of spacer can be obtained than the minimum size that can be formed by exposure process, thus increasing the effect of reducing the chip size.

[0019] Referring now to FIG. 1C, by etching process using the patterned hard mask layer 14 and the hard mask layer spacer 15 as etching mask, the exposed portion of the polysilicon layer for the floating gate 13 is removed to form a first pattern 13 a and a second pattern 13 b which are separated in two section. Then, annealing process for recovering the portion of the tunnel oxide film 12 that is damaged by etching process is performed.

[0020] Referring to FIG. 1D, the patterned hard mask layer 14 and the hard mask layer spacer 15 are removed and a dielectric film 16 and a polysilicon layer for the floating gate 17 are deposited on the entire structure including the first pattern 13 a and the second pattern 13 b which are separated in two section. Then, self-aligned etching process using the control gate as a mask is used to allow the polysilicon layer for the floating gate 17 and the polysilicon layer for the floating gate 13 etching the first pattern 13 a and the second pattern 13 b which are separated in two section, thus forming a first floating gate 130 a made of some of the first pattern 13 a, a second floating gate 130 b made of some of the second pattern 13 b and a control gate 17 lying over the floating gates 130 a and 130 b. Then, a drain junction 18 a and a source junction 18 b are formed by cell source/drain ion implantation process.

[0021] In the above, the dielectric film 16 is consisted of the combination of oxide and nitride and has the thickness of 100 through 300 Angstrom. The polysilicon layer for the floating gate 17 is formed in thickness of 300 through 2000 Angstrom. A polycide layer may be formed instead of the polysilicon layer for the floating gate 17. The first floating gate 130 a and the second floating gate 130 b are different in size, wherein the ratio of the size of the first floating gate 130 a to the second floating gate 130 b is {fraction (1/3)} through 1. The drain junction 18 a is formed on the semiconductor substrate 11 at the side of the first floating gate 130 a and the source junction 18 b is formed on the semiconductor substrate 11 at the side of the second floating gate 130 b.

[0022] Meanwhile, additional process may be added, by which the patterned hard mask layer 14 and the hard mask layer spacer 15 are removed and then dopants different in polarity with the semiconductor substrate 11 are ion-implanted at the dose of 1E14 through 7E16 ions/cm2.

[0023] In the flash EEPROM cell of the present invention formed by the above process, the separated first and second floating gates 130 a and 130 b having different sizes are formed to be electrically separated from the semiconductor substrate 11 by the tunnel oxide film 12, the control gate 17 is formed to be electrically separated from the first and second floating gates 130 a and 130 b by the dielectric film 12, the drain junction 18 a is located at the side of the first floating gate 130 a and the source junction 18 b is located at the side of the second floating gate 130 b.

[0024] In the flash EEPROM cell manufactured by an embodiment of the present invention, the erase operation is performed to discharge from the floating gates to the junction or the channel region due to a tunneling method, and the program operation does not have a significant hot carrier injection problem.

[0025] As described above, the flash EEPROM cell using the multi-level cell of the present invention can increase the productivity of the wafers due to the effect of chip size reduction because it allows a data memory of two bits on one cell, can assure the quality of the tunnel oxide film since it can simply form the floating gate most important in the multi-level cell, and can increase the throughput due to increased speed and uniformity upon program and erase because the coupling ratio between the control gate and the floating gate is increased as much as the hard mask layer spacer.

[0026] The present invention has been described with reference to a particular embodiment in connection with a particular application. Those having ordinary skill in the art and access to the teachings of the present invention will recognize additional modifications and applications within the scope thereof.

[0027] It is therefore intended by the appended claims to cover any and all such applications, modifications, and embodiments within the scope of the present invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6806531 *Apr 7, 2003Oct 19, 2004Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Non-volatile floating gate memory cell with floating gates formed in cavities, and array thereof, and method of formation
US6861315Aug 14, 2003Mar 1, 2005Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Method of manufacturing an array of bi-directional nonvolatile memory cells
US6913975Jul 6, 2004Jul 5, 2005Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Non-volatile floating gate memory cell with floating gates formed in cavities, and array thereof, and method of formation
US6936883Apr 7, 2003Aug 30, 2005Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Bi-directional read/program non-volatile floating gate memory cell and array thereof, and method of formation
US7008846Apr 23, 2003Mar 7, 2006Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Non-volatile floating gate memory cell with floating gates formed as spacers, and an array thereof, and a method of manufacturing
US7183163Apr 13, 2004Feb 27, 2007Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Method of manufacturing an isolation-less, contact-less array of bi-directional read/program non-volatile floating gate memory cells with independent controllable control gates
US7190018Apr 7, 2003Mar 13, 2007Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Bi-directional read/program non-volatile floating gate memory cell with independent controllable control gates, and array thereof, and method of formation
US7205198Sep 14, 2006Apr 17, 2007Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Method of making a bi-directional read/program non-volatile floating gate memory cell
US7227217Feb 28, 2005Jun 5, 2007Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Nonvolatile memory cell having floating gate, control gate and separate erase gate, an array of such memory cells, and method of manufacturing
US7242050Nov 13, 2003Jul 10, 2007Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Stacked gate memory cell with erase to gate, array, and method of manufacturing
US7307308Mar 9, 2004Dec 11, 2007Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Buried bit line non-volatile floating gate memory cell with independent controllable control gate in a trench, and array thereof, and method of formation
US7439572Dec 15, 2005Oct 21, 2008Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.Stacked gate memory cell with erase to gate, array, and method of manufacturing
Classifications
U.S. Classification257/314, 257/E21.209, 257/315, 257/317, 257/E29.308
International ClassificationH01L27/115, H01L21/8247, H01L29/792, H01L21/28, H01L29/788, G11C16/04, G11C11/56
Cooperative ClassificationH01L29/7887, G11C16/0458, H01L21/28273, G11C11/5621, G11C2211/5612
European ClassificationG11C16/04F4P, G11C11/56D, H01L29/788C