Journal of Applied Physics vol:94 issue:12 pages:7586-7589
Previous work [Vanheusden and Devine, Appl. Phys. Lett. 76, 3109 (2000)] has reported that subjecting Si/SiO2/Si capacitors to a 450degreesC preanneal in hydrogen impedes formation of protons in the buried oxide during the subsequent generation anneal at 600degreesC in H-2. In interpreting, a key role in proton generation was assigned to Si dangling bond (P-b-) type defects, yet with unusual assumptions as to their atomic hydrogen production nature. Here, an explanation of the preanneal effect is offered based on annealing induced structural relaxation of (P-b-type) interface defects residing in edge regions of the capacitor, affecting their atomic hydrogen generation efficiency through altering the spreads in the defect activation energies for passivation in H-2 and dissociation. Thus the preannealing effect is seen as a direct result of the occurrence of substantial spreads in regions of enhanced strain. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.