Investigation of bolometric and resistive properties of nickel oxide

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Title: Investigation of bolometric and resistive properties of nickel oxide
Author: Kumar, Shaurya
Abstract: This work investigates the properties of nickel oxide for use in microbolometric and resistive memory applications. For the uncooled infrared radiation detector industry, the current standard sensor materials are either very expensive, but very sensitive (vanadium oxide), or the other extreme of low cost, and low quality (amorphous silicon). Thus, a need arises for a medium-grade, medium-cost microbolometer sensitive material. The physical scaling limits of conventional charge-based non-volatile memory has progressed the semiconductor industry into searching for a new type of non-volatile memory device. Resistive random access memory (ReRAM) shows promise to fill this void, and nickel oxide presents itself as a potential forerunner in this market by demonstrating its ability to switch from a high resistance state to a low resistance state. A die with microbolometer devices and metal-insulator-metal (MIM) structures was designed and fabricated, with nickel oxide as the infrared-sensitive and resistance-switching material respectively. Two methods of obtaining nickel oxide were investigated - plasma oxidation and thermal oxidation. Ellipsometry, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to study the films created using the two techniques. Thermally grown nickel oxide was used for the fabrication of the bolometer and MIM devices, which were subsequently electrically tested to observe their performance and evaluate the viability of nickel oxide for use in these applications. Thermal nickel oxide successfully demonstrated its viability for both applications.
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Date: 2012-09-20

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