Kinetics Of Charge Generation During Formation Of Hf And Zr Silicate Dielectrics


Understanding charged defects in high dielectric constant insulators is a critical challenge for advanced devices. We have formed thin Zr and Hf silicates by oxidation of thin metal films sputtered on clean Si(100) and studied the effect of oxidation time (15 to 300s) and temperature (600 or 900°C) on the flatband voltage using capacitance vs. voltage measurements. We find that the thermal budget during oxidation and the type of oxidizing agent (slow vs. fast) affect the amount of fixed charge in the film significantly. Oxidation of 0.8nm of Zr metal on Si at 600°C in N2O for 15s results in EOT=1.2nm and a shift in the flatband voltage by ∼-0.2V indicating generation of positive fixed charge. Oxidation of similar films for 300s result in EOT=2.8nm and shift of the flatband voltage by ∼-0.95V. Hf films oxidized in N2O also show increased concentrations of fixed charge for longer oxidation times. By comparison, Si oxidized in the same environment does not show this extent of flatband voltage shift. A significantly reduced charge generation rate is observed for Hf oxidation under low O2 partial pressure. Extended oxidations (up to 1h) result in increased EOT and a slight decrease in the charged defect state density. Forming Gas Anneal (FGA) results in partial neutralization of the charge. FGA after the Al gate deposition also leads to significant decrease of the EOT (from 2.7 to 2.1nm) indicating significant reaction of the film with the gate metal. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy for thin films indicates formation of Zr and Hf-silicates. However, for thick Hf films the low O2 oxidation process results in less silicon incorporation in the film as compared to films oxidized in N2O. Results suggest that understanding oxidation mechanisms will be important in isolating andcontrollingfixedchargeinhigh-kdielectrics.

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Correspondence to Theodosia Gougousi.

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Gougousi, T., Kelly, M.J. & Parsons, G.N. Kinetics Of Charge Generation During Formation Of Hf And Zr Silicate Dielectrics. MRS Online Proceedings Library 765, 34 (2002).

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