Spectroscopic ellipsometry characterization of high-k dielectric HfO[sub 2] thin films and the high-temperature annealing effects on their optical properties

Cho, Yong Jai; Nguyen, N. V.; Richter, C. A.; Ehrstein, J. R.; Lee, Byoung Hun; Lee, Jack C.
February 2002
Applied Physics Letters;2/18/2002, Vol. 80 Issue 7, p1249
Academic Journal
The optical properties of a set of high-k dielectric HfO[SUB 2] films annealed at various high temperatures were determined by spectroscopic ellipsometry. The results show that the characteristics of the dielectric functions of these films are strongly affected by high temperature annealing. For a sample annealed at 600 °C, the film becomes polycrystalline, and its dielectric function displays a distinctive peak at 5.9 eV. On the other hand, the film remains amorphous without the 5.9 eV feature after 500 °C annealing. To model the dielectric functions, the Tauc--Lorentz dispersion was successfully adopted for these amorphous and polycrystalline films. The absorption edge was observed to shift to a higher energy at a high temperature annealing. Defects in the films were shown to relate to the appearance of a band tail above the absorption edge, and they appear to diminish with high temperature annealing.


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