Exploring argon plasma effect on ferroelectric Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 thin film atomic layer deposition


The doped/alloyed HfO2 and ZrO2 thin films revolutionized not only the field of ferroelectric physics but also various ranges of device applications. Especially when the two oxides are combined in an 1:1 ratio, the ferroelectric polarization of the material became the most distinctive. Many researchers have investigated various different process conditions such as controlling Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 (HZO) film thickness and modifying different metal electrodes. Here, we explored the effect of additional Ar plasma treatment to the HZO film. The additional Ar plasma was exposed to the plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) HZO for this study. Then, the sample was compared with a conventional PEALD and thermal ALD HZO films. By understanding the polarization–electric field (P–E), current–electric field (I–E), and electrical breakdown characteristics of the different samples, it was found that the Ar plasma treatment can control the degree of ferroelectric and antiferroelectric phases of HZO film.

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This work was supported by ASCENT, one of the SRC/DARPA JUMP Centers. This work was performed with Hang Chen at the Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology, a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), which is supported by the NSF-ECCS-1542174.

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Correspondence to Asif Islam Khan or Shimeng Yu.

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Hur, J., Wang, P., Tasneem, N. et al. Exploring argon plasma effect on ferroelectric Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 thin film atomic layer deposition. Journal of Materials Research (2021). https://doi.org/10.1557/s43578-020-00074-5

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  • atomic layer deposition
  • ferroelectric
  • phase transformation