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A route is presented for activation of hydrogen-terminated Si(100) prior to atomic layer deposition. It is based on our discovery from in situ infrared spectroscopy that organometallic precursors can effectively initiate oxide growth. Narrow nuclear resonance profiling and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry show that surface functionalization by pre-exposure to 108 Langmuir trimethylaluminum at 300 °C leads to enhanced nucleation and to nearly linear growth kinetics of the high-permittivity gate dielectrics aluminum oxide and hafnium oxide. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.
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