Impact of nitrogen depth profiles on the electrical properties of crystalline high-K gate dielectrics

Jhih Jie Huang, Yi Jen Tsai, Meng Chen Tsai, Li Tien Huang, Min Hung Lee, Miin Jang Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The electrical characteristics of crystalline ZrO 2 gate dielectrics with different nitrogen depth profiles were investigated, which were treated by the in-situ atomic layer doping of nitrogen and post-deposition nitridation processes, respectively, using remote NH 3 plasma at a low treatment temperature of 250 °C. The crystalline ZrO 2 gate dielectric of the tetragonal/cubic phase was formed by post-metallization annealing (PMA) at a low temperature of 450 °C, resulting in an increase of the dielectric constant. As compared with the in-situ atomic layer doping of nitrogen, the post-deposition nitrogen process leads to a lower capacitance equivalent thickness of 1.13 nm with a low leakage current density of 1.35 × 10 -5 A/cm 2 . The enhanced capacitance density caused by the post-deposition nitrogen treatment may be ascribed to the high nitrogen concentration at the top surface of gate dielectric, giving rise to the suppression of oxygen diffusion from the ambient toward the interface and so a thinner interfacial layer. The result reveals that the nitrogen incorporation at the top surface of gate oxide is favorable to the scaling of crystalline high-K gate dielectrics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-668
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1


  • Atomic layer deposition
  • High-K gate dielectrics
  • In-situ atomic layer doping
  • Post-deposition nitridation
  • Zirconium oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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