The physical and electrical properties of an Ir/SiO2/Si stack were evaluated for advanced gate electrode application. The thermal stability of the stack was studied on MOS capacitors annealed at temperatures between 500 and 1000 degreesC in N-2 ambient for 30 s followed by forming gas anneal (FGA) at 420 degreesC for 20 min. The work function of iridium, found to be 4.9 eV, is stable up to 900 degreesC, making it a good candidate as PMOS electrode. In addition, no evidence was found for any chemical reaction at the interface between Ir and SiO2. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.