Contribution of interface capacitance to the electric-field breakdown in thin-film Al–AlO[sub x]–Al capacitors

Singh-Bhalla, Guneeta; Xu Du; Hebard, Arthur F.
September 2003
Applied Physics Letters;9/22/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 12, p2417
Academic Journal
We present a systematic study of the dependence of breakdown voltages on oxide thickness d in Al–AlO[sub x]–Al thin-film capacitor structures. For sufficiently thin dielectrics, we find that a significant portion of the measured breakdown potential V[sub b] occurs across the electrode interfaces, thereby leading to an overestimate (V[sub b]/d) of the true breakdown electric field E[sub b] across the dielectric. By modeling this interface contribution as an “interface” capacitance in series with the geometric “bulk” capacitance, we find for high-quality rf magnetron-sputtered AlO[sub x] dielectrics that E[sub b] is independent of d over the range 30–300 Å. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.


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