Impact of Hf content on negative bias temperature instabilities in HfSiON-based gate stacks

Houssa, M.; Aoulaiche, M.; Van Elshocht, S.; De Gendt, S.; Groeseneken, G.; Heyns, M. M.
April 2005
Applied Physics Letters;4/25/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 17, p173509
Academic Journal
The shift of the threshold voltage, Vth, of p-channel metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors with HfSiON gate stacks, subjected to negative bias temperature stress, is investigated. It is found that Vth shift increases with time, like a power law, with an exponent that decreases with the amount of Hf in the HfSiON layer. Within the reaction-diffusion model for negative bias temperature instabilities, this finding suggests that the transport of hydrogen species in the gate stack is slower (i.e., more dispersive) in Hf-rich silicate layers. This result is also consistent with the observed increase in activation energy related to the hopping of the species in the gate stack with the Hf content, extracted from the temperature acceleration of Vth shifts. It is also found that negative bias temperature instabilities are reduced in layers with Hf content of about 50 at. %. This “optimum” is tentatively attributed to the interplay between the slower transport of the hydrogen species and the larger density of interface and bulk defects in the gate stack when the Hf content increases.


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