James H. Stathis
- IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award
James H. Stathis’ and Ernest Yue Wu’s expertise of gate dielectric reliability has permitted circuit designers to push transistor performance to the limit by continuing dielectric scaling while maintaining operation voltage sufficient to deliver high drive current integral to today’s smaller yet more powerful devices. Their work has provided the ability to accurately predict the oxide lifetime at use conditions from accelerated stress data at elevated voltages, which has been essential as oxide thickness has scaled from ~10 nm to ~1 nm. Stathis challenged the semiconductor roadmap assumption that the constant-field scaling of gate oxides could continue without impacting transistor reliability. This motivated the industry to start looking for alternative (high-k) dielectrics. He then helped discover “progressive breakdown” and showed how to confidently achieve better reliability margins.
An IEEE Fellow, Stathis is a principal research staff member with IBM Research, Yorktown Heights, New York, USA.