Chemical Vapor Deposition of Hafnium Oxynitride Films Using Different Oxidants
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As the minimum feature size in complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) devices shrinks, the leakage current through the gate insulator (silicon oxide) will increase sufficiently to impair device operation. A high dielectric constant (k) insulator is needed as a replacement for silicon oxide in order to reduce this leakage. Hafnium-based materials are among the more promising candidates for the gate insulator, however, it is hampered by material quality and thus has been slow to be introduced into high volume integrated circuit production. Hafnium oxynitride films are deposited by Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) and downstream microwave Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) employing different oxidants including O2, N2O, O2 plasma, N2O plasma, N2O/N2 plasma, and O2/He plasma in the current research. The effects of oxidants on deposition kinetics, morphology, composition, bonding structure, electrical properties and thermal stability of the resultant films each are investigated. The possible chemical/physical causes of these observations are developed and some mechanisms are proposed to explain the experimental results. Oxygen radicals, which are known of present in oxidizing environments are determined to play an essential role in defining both structures and the resultant electronic properties of deposited hafnium oxynitride films. This systematic investigation of oxidant effects on CVD grown hafnium oxide/oxynitride layers, in the absence of post-deposition annealing, provides new understanding to this area with potential importance to the integrated circuit industry.