Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A vol:26 issue:4 pages:724-730
Hf-based dielectrics are currently being introduced into complementary metal oxide semiconductor transistors as replacement for SiON to limit gate leakage current densities. Alternative materials such as rare earth based dielectrics are of interest to obtain proper threshold voltages as well as to engineer a material with a high thermal stability. The authors have studied rare earth based dielectrics such as DY2O3, DyHfOx, DyScOx, La2O3, HfLaOx, and LaAlOx, by means of ellipsometry, time of flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy x-ray diffraction, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The authors show that ellipsometry is an easy and powerful tool to study silicate formation. For ternary rare earth oxides, this behavior is heavily dependent on the composition of the deposited layer and demonstrates a nonlinear dependence. The system evolves to a stable composition that is controlled by the thermal budget and the rare earth content of the layer. It is shown that silicate formation can lead to a severe overestimation of the thermal stability of ternary rare earth oxides. (C) 2008 American Vacuum Society.