Flash nonvolatile memory has been widely applied in portable electronic products. However, traditional flash memory is expected to reach physical limits as its dimensions are scaled down; the charges stored in the floating gate can leak out more easily through a thin tunneling oxide, causing a serious reliability issue. In order to solve this problem, discrete nanocrystal memory has been proposed and is considered to be a promising candidate for the next generation of nonvolatile memories due to its high operation speed, good scalability, and superior reliability. This paper reviews the current status of research in nanocrystal memory and focuses on its materials, fabrication, structures, and treatment methods to provide an in-depth perspective of state-of-the-art nanocrystal memory.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(11)70302-9