Vertical channel floating gate transistor having silicon germanium channel layer
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A vertical channel flash memory cell with a silicon germanium layer in the channel region provides enhanced secondary electron injection when programming the device. The device includes a silicon substrate, a silicon germanium alloy layer epitaxially grown on the substrate, and a silicon layer epitaxially grown on the silicon germanium layer. A sidewall through the stacked structure is formed by etching thereby exposing edges of the silicon layer and the silicon germanium layer and a portion of the substrate. A floating gate is formed overlying the sidewall and insulated therefrom with a control gate overlying the floating gate and insulated therefrom. A source region is formed in the silicon layer and a drain region is formed in the substrate with a channel therebetween along the sidewall and including the silicon germanium layer. The silicon germanium layer is preferably compressively strained and can have a uniform mole fraction or a graded mole fraction. The vertical structure permits the fabrication of flash memory cells with smaller dimensions and lower operating voltages.