Effect of nitrogen at SiO[sub 2]/Si interface on reliability issues—negative-bias-temperature instability and Fowler–Nordheim-stress degradation

Kushida-Abdelghafar, Keiko; Watanabe, Kikuo; Ushio, Jiro; Murakami, Eiichi
December 2002
Applied Physics Letters;12/2/2002, Vol. 81 Issue 23, p4362
Academic Journal
Degradation process of a metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) structure with NO-nitrided SiO[sub 2] under negative-bias-temperature (NBT) and Fowler-Nordheim (FN) stresses has been investigated. The FN stress immunity improves with increasing nitrogen concentration at the SiO[sub 2]/Si interface, while the incorporation of excess nitrogen (more than 3 at. %) at the SiO[sub 2]/Si interface accelerates NBT instability (NBTI). This stronger immunity of NO-nitrided SiO[sub 2] under FN stress is due to the stronger Si-N bonds formed by NO nitridation at the interface. Without hydrogen annealing to form Si-H bonds, the MOS capacitors do not show NBTI. This indicates that the Si-N bonds are not broken under NBT stress and the main cause of the NBTI is the breaking of the Si-H bonds. The NO nitridation decreases the number of Si-H bonds and thus suppresses NBTI. However, nitrogen provides hole-trap centers. Hydrogen at the interface is dissociated and bonds to the hole-trapping nitrogen, so interface traps are left behind. An excess amount of nitrogen thus accelerates NBTI.


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