Carbonate formation during post-deposition ambient exposure of high-k dielectrics

Gougousi, Theodosia; Dong Niu, Theodosia; Ashcraft, Robert W.; Parsons, Gregory N.
October 2003
Applied Physics Letters;10/27/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 17, p3543
Academic Journal
When thick films of group-III (La, Y)- and group-IV (Hf, Zr)-based high-k dielectrics are exposed to ambient for several months, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy shows formation of carbonate species in the film bulk, likely due to reaction with atmospheric CO[sub 2]. Group-III-based films show signs of carbonate feature growth within 10 min of air exposure, especially in films processed at relatively low temperatures (<600 °C). Carbonate formation is verified also for group-IV-based films, but at a significantly reduced concentration. Post-exposure annealing can reduce the carbonate observed in the IR spectra. However, post-exposure annealing likely does not remove carbon contamination, and it results in interface silicon oxide growth. The observed reactions of high-k films with the ambient may impose significant constraints on the post-deposition handling of high-k films. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.


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