Theoretical simulation of dielectric breakdown by molecular dynamics and tight-binding quantum chemistry methods

Zhigang Zhu, Arunabhiram Chutia, Hideyuki Tsuboi, Michihisa Koyama, Akira Endou, Hiromitsu Takaba, Momoji Kubo, Carlos A. Del Carpio, Parasuraman Selvam, Akira Miyamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A novel methodology is addressed and employed to simulate dielectric breakdown process of the amorphous SiO2 (a-SiO2) under high electric fields, as well as the role of hydrogen and oxygen vacancy in the breakdown process. This methodology is based on classical molecular dynamics in conjunction with our original tight-binding quantum chemical molecular dynamics method. It is shown from the electronic structure that gap of highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) for a-SiO2 under no electric field at 300 K is calculated to be 7.5 eV and the orbital contributions to the valence band and conduction band are in line with experimental data. We have evaluated the electric field dependence of breakdown for a-SiO2 at 300 K and found that the insulator property shifts to conductor when electric field reached to a very high value of 5 × 1010 V/m. The result of this process can be ascribed to the decreasing of band gap induced by the destruction of geometry of a-SiO 2 under very high electric field. Our results reveal that the conductivity of a-SiO2 increases with the increase of hydrogen or oxygen vacancy concentration in the oxide structure under the electric field. This supports the fact that defects play an important role in triggering breakdown process. Finally, a complex model has been build and used to simulate the influence of interface structure of Si and SiO2 under high electric field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1858
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics
Issue number4 B
Publication statusPublished - Apr 24 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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