Role of interfacial layer on breakdown of TiN /high- κ gate stacks

N. A. Chowdhury, D. Misra, G. Bersuker, C. Young, R. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This work examines the inherent asymmetry on breakdown characteristics of the interfacial layer (IL) and high- κ layer in the overall gate-stack breakdown. Ramped and constant voltage stresses were applied on atomic-layer-deposited TiN HfO2 SiO2 gate stacks. Under ramped stress when a thin high- κ layer (3.3 nm) is used, IL is responsible for the overall gate-stack breakdown; otherwise, the breakdown is initiated by the high- κ layer. Under constant voltage stress the gate stack went through many degradation mechanisms, such as charge trapping and defect generation, soft breakdown, progressive breakdown, and finally hard breakdown. In addition, when the breakdown field of ILs grown under various process conditions was compared, it was observed that for a fixed IL thickness, breakdown field does not depend on predeposition surface treatment; rather, it is a function of the quality of IL. Stress-induced leakage current was also studied to correlate with the breakdown behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G298-G306
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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