Rare Metals

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Improving interfacial and electrical properties of HfO2/SiO2/p-Si stacks with N2-plasma-treated SiO2 interfacial layer

  • Xiao-Qiang Chen
  • Yu-Hua Xiong
  • Jun Du
  • Feng Wei
  • Hong-Bin Zhao
  • Qing-Zhu Zhang
  • Wen-Qiang Zhang
  • Xiao-Ping Liang


The effect of N2-plasma-treated SiO2 interfacial layer on the interfacial and electrical characteristics of HfO2/SiO2/p-Si stacks grown by atomic layer deposition (ALD) was investigated. The microstructure and interfacial chemical bonding configuration of the HfO2/SiO2/Si stacks were also examined by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Compared with the samples without N2-plasma treatment, it is found that the samples with N2-plasma treatment have less oxygen vacancy density for SiO2 interfacial layer and better HfO2/SiO2 interface. In agreement with XPS analyses, electrical measurements of the samples with N2-plasma treatment show better interfacial quality, including lower interface-state density (D it, 9.3 × 1011 cm−2·eV−1 near midgap) and lower oxide-charge density (Q ox, 2.5 × 1012 cm−2), than those of the samples without N2-plasma treatment. Additionally, the samples with N2-plasma treatment have better electrical performances, including higher saturation capacitance density (1.49 μF·cm−2) and lower leakage current density (3.2 × 10−6 A·cm−2 at V g = V fb − 1 V). Furthermore, constant voltage stress was applied on the gate electrode to investigate the reliability of these samples. It shows that the samples with N2-plasma treatment have better electrical stability than the samples without N2-plasma treatment.


Metal–oxide–semiconductor High-k Atomic layer deposited N2-plasma treatment Interfacial characteristic Reliability 



This study was financially supported by the National Science and Technology Major Project of China (No. 2013ZX02303-001-002).


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Copyright information

© The Nonferrous Metals Society of China and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advanced Electronic Materials InstituteGeneral Research Institute for Nonferrous MetalsBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Advanced Materials for Smart SensingGeneral Research Institute for Nonferrous MetalsBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Microelectronics Devices and Integrated Technology, Institute of MicroelectronicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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