Integrated Capacitors with Nb2O5 Dielectric for Decoupling Applications


As electronic systems are scaling down further and further, there is the constant need to utilize all the board area with maximum efficiency. Since passive components occupy most of the space on boards, it is very important to scale them down. New techniques allow for “integrated” passives as opposed to their discrete counterparts. Integrated capacitors can be embedded within the substrate, leaving room for other components on the board surface. In order to improve the area efficiency of these integrated capacitors, researchers have formed multilayered capacitors in the past. This increases the capacitance density, but is time consuming and expensive due to too many process steps. With increased circuit density, a currently demonstrated dielectric, Ta2O5, could be replaced with a potential high-k dielectric that can store more charge in a smaller area than a capacitor with Ta2O5. Niobium pentoxide (Nb2O5) with k∼41 is an emerging dielectric for high-k capacitor applications. This paper investigates niobium pentoxide as a next generation high-k planar capacitor dielectric. Niobium pentoxide dielectric was formed by reactive sputtering and anodization. Dielectric characterization was done using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Thin film planar capacitor structures were fabricated using Nb2O5 dielectric and electrically characterized. The results presented include dielectric material characterization, design, capacitance, and breakdown voltage measurements.

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Correspondence to Susan Jacob.

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Jacob, S., Schaper, L.W. & Benamara, M. Integrated Capacitors with Nb2O5 Dielectric for Decoupling Applications. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1158, 308 (2008).

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