The deposition behavior of HfO2 by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition on germanium has been investigated. HfO2 films can be deposited on Ge with equally good quality as compared to high-k growth on silicon. Surface preparation is very important: compared to an HF-last, NH3 pretreatments result in smoother films with strongly reduced diffusion of germanium in the HfO2 film, resulting in a much better electrical performance. We clearly show that much thinner interfacial layers can be obtained, approximately half the thickness of what is typically found for depositions on silicon, suggesting the possibility of more aggressive equivalent oxide thickness/leakage scaling. (C) 2004 American Institute of Physics.