This work evaluates the defects in high quality atomic layer deposited (ALD) HfAlOx with extremely low Al (<3% Al/(Al + Hf)) incorporation in the Hf based high-k dielectrics. The defect activation energy estimated by the high temperature current voltage measurement shows that the charged oxygen vacancies, V+/V2+, are the primary source of defects in these dielectrics. When Al is added in HfO2, the V+ type defects with a defect activation energy of Ea ∼ 0.2 eV modify to V2+ type to Ea ∼ 0.1 eV with reference to the Si conduction band. When devices were stressed in the gate injection mode for 1000 s, more V+ type defects are generated and Ea reverts back to ∼0.2 eV. Since Al has a less number of valence electrons than do Hf, the change in the co-ordination number due to Al incorporation seems to contribute to the defect level modifications. Additionally, the stress induced leakage current behavior observed at 20 °C and at 125°C demonstrates that the addition of Al in HfO2 contributed to suppressed trap generation process. This further supports the defect engineering model as reduced flat-band voltage shifts were observed at 20 °C and at 125 °C.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)