IEEE Electron Device Letters vol:27 issue:10 pages:817-820
Replacing SiON by high-kappa layers is a pressing issue for CMOS technologies. The presence of as-grown electron traps in HfO2 is a major obstacle, since they can induce threshold-voltage instability, reduce electron mobility, and result in early breakdown. Their location has not been clarified and is addressed in this letter. By selecting test conditions carefully and using samples with a progressive reduction of HfO2 thickness, the authors are able to rule out that traps are piled up near the HfO2/HfSiO interface. A uniform distribution throughout HfO2 does not agree with the test data, either. Results support that trapping is negligible near to one or both ends of the HfO2 layer when compared with trapping in the central region.