Miscibility is a key factor for maintaining the homogeneity of the amorphous structure in a ZrO2-Al2O3 binary alloy high-k dielectric layer. In the present work, a ZrO2/Al2O3 laminate thin layer has been prepared by atomic layer chemical vapor deposition on a Si (100) wafer. This layer, with artificially induced inhomogeneity (lamination), enables one to study the change in homogeneity of the amorphous phase in the ZrO2/Al2O3 system during annealing. High temperature grazing incidence x-ray diffraction (HT-XRD) was used to investigate the change in intensity of the constructive interference peak of the x-ray beams which are reflected from the interfaces of ZrO2/Al2O3 laminae. The HT-XRD spectra show that the intensity of the peak decreases with an increase in the anneal temperature, and at 800 degreesC, the peak disappears. The same samples were annealed by a rapid thermal process (RTP) at temperatures between 700 and 1000 degreesC for 60 s. Room temperature XRD of the RTP annealed samples shows a similar decrease in peak intensity. Transmission electronic microscope images confirm that the laminate structure is destroyed by RTP anneals and, just below the crystallization onset temperature, a homogeneous amorphous ZrAlxOy phase forms. The results demonstrate that the two artificially separated phases, ZrO2 and Al2O3 laminae, tend to mix into a homogeneous amorphous phase before crystallization. This observation indicates that the thermal stability of ZrO2-Al2O3 amorphous phase is suitable for high-k applications. (C) 2002 American Institute of Physics.