This work evaluates the defects in HfZrO as a function of Zr addition into HfO2 and when the dielectric was subjected to a slot-plane-antenna (SPA) plasma treatment in a cyclic process to form TiN/HfZrO/SiON/Si gate stacks. The defect energy levels, estimated by temperature-dependent current-voltage measurements, suggest that Zr addition in HfO2 modifies the charge state of the oxygen vacancy formation, V+. The influence of electron affinity variation of Hf and Zr ions on the charged oxygen vacancy levels seems to have contributed to the increase in defect activation energy, Ea, from 0.32 eV to 0.4 eV. The cyclic SPA plasma exposure further reduces the oxygen vacancy formation because of the film densification. When the dielectric was subjected to a constant voltage stress, the charge state oxygen vacancy formation changes to V2+ and improvement was eliminated. The trap assisted tunneling behavior, as observed by the stress induced leakage current characteristics, further supports the oxygen vacancy formation model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)