Journal of Applied Physics vol:87 issue:10 pages:7338-7341
The suppression of thermally induced generation of hole traps in SiO2 layers of Si/SiO2 and poly-Si/SiO2/Si structures by He ambient is analyzed as a function of the gas pressure p. The pressure dependence of the suppression efficiency is found close to p(2/3). This pressure dependence and the observed reduced suppression efficiency of heavier noble gases (Ne, Ar) are interpreted as indications that the gas atom dissolved in SiO2 should approach close to the degradation-prone site in order to prevent the thermally induced bond break. This result suggests that a short-range interaction between noble gas atoms and the Si/SiO2 network atoms is at the basis of the degradation blockage effect. (C) 2000 American Institute of Physics. [S0021-8979(00)03810-X].