Thursday, September 07, 2006

US Patent 7101760 - Manufacturing Nanocrystal Memory From Silicon Seeds

Non-volatile memory cells usually rely on a charge storage layer wherein the storage of charge beneath an insulation layer determines whether a 0 or 1 is stored in the cell. Silicon nanocrystals have been proposed as a charge storage element for such memory cells and this patent proposes an improved fabrication procedure to produce more efficient discrete charge storage for nanocrystal memories. Claim 1 reads:

1. Method of making a nanocrystal charge storage layer comprising: embedding silicon seeds in a silicon containing insulative layer, etching the silicon containing insulative layer to expose the silicon seeds to an ambient environment, and vapor depositing silicon onto the silicon seeds thereby growing silicon nanocrystals.