Improvement in electrical characteristics of HfO 2 gate dielectrics treated by remote NH 3 plasma

Li Tien Huang, Ming Lun Chang, Jhih Jie Huang, Hsin Chih Lin, Chin Lung Kuo, Min Hung Lee, Chee Wee Liu, Miin Jang Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We report the structural and electrical characteristics of hafnium oxide (HfO 2 ) gate dielectrics treated by remote NH 3 plasma under various radio-frequency (RF) powers at a low temperature. Significant increase of effective dielectric constant (k eff ), decrease of capacitance equivalent thickness (CET), reduction in leakage current density, and suppression of the interfacial layer thickness were observed with the increase of the RF power in the remote NH 3 plasma treatment. The effects of hydrogen passivation and depassivation on the HfO 2 /Si interface due to the remote NH 3 plasma treatment were also observed by the variation of photoluminescence (PL) intensity, indicating that the PL measurement is applicable to probe the interfacial properties. An ultrathin interfacial layer (∼0.3 nm), a high k eff , (20.9), a low leakage current density (9 × 10 -6 A/cm 2 ), and a low CET (1.9 nm) in the nitrided HfO 2 film were achieved, demonstrating that the nitridation process using remote NH 3 plasma under a high RF power at a low temperature is a promising way to improve in electrical properties of high-K gate dielectrics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb 1


  • Atomic layer deposition
  • Hafnium oxide
  • Nitridation
  • Remote plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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