Hafnium dioxide gate dielectrics, metal gate electrodes, and phenomena occurring at their interfaces
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As metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) gate lengths scale down below 45 nm, the gate oxide thickness approaches 1 nm equivalent oxide thickness. At this thickness, conventional silicon dioxide (SiO2) gate dielectrics suffer from excessive gate leakage. Higher permittivity dielectrics are required to counter the increase in gate leakage. Hafnium dioxide (HfO2) has emerged as a promising dielectric candidate. HfO2 films deposited using metal organic chemical vapor deposition are being studied to determine the impact of process and annealing conditions on the physical and electrical properties of the gate dielectric. This study indicates that deposition and annealing temperatures influence the microstructure, density, impurity concentration, chemical environment of the impurities, and band-gap of the HfO2 dielectric. Correlations of the electrical and physical properties of the films indicate that impurities in the form of segregated carbon clusters, and low HfO2 density are detrimental to the leakage properties of the gate dielectric. Additionally, as the HfO2 thickness scales, the additional series capacitance due to poly-silicon depletion plays a larger roll in reducing the total gate capacitance. To solve this problem, high performance bulk MOSFETs will require dual metal gate electrodes possessing work functions near the silicon band edges for optimized drive current. This investigation evaluates TiN, Ta-Si-N, Ti-Al-N, WN, TaN, TaSi, Ir and IrO2 electrodes as candidate electrodes on HfO2 dielectrics. The metal-dielectric compatibility was studied by annealing the gate stacks at different temperatures. The physical stability and effective work functions of metal electrodes on HfO2 are discussed. Finally, Fermi level pinning of the metal is a barrier to identifying materials with appropriate threshold voltages. The contributions to the Fermi level pinning of platinum electrodes on HfO2 gate dielectrics are investigated by examining the impact of oxygen and forming gas anneals on the effective work function of platinum-HfO2-silicon capacitors. Oxygen anneals result in higher effective work functions for platinum on HfO2 than forming gas anneals. The presence of interfacial oxygen vacancies or Pt-Hf bonds is believed to be responsible for a degree of pinning that is stronger than predicted from the metal induced gap states model alone.