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Sacrificial nitride and gate replacement

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #7981745.

Methods of forming a top oxide around a charge storage material layer of a memory cell and methods of improving quality of a top oxide around a charge storage material layer of a memory cell are provided. The method can involve providing a charge storage layer on a semiconductor substrate, a nitride layer on the charge storage layer, and a first poly layer on the nitride layer, and converting at least a portion of the nitride layer to a top oxide. By converting at least a portion of a nitride layer to a top oxide layer, the quality of the resultant top oxide layer can be improved.

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