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Recent studies have shown improved NMOSFET transistor hot-carrier lifetime with the inclusion of a low-temperature post-metal anneal in a deuterium ambient. There have been few published results, however, on the optimization of the deuterium anneal or on the effect of further processing on deuterium-annealed samples. This paper reports the first results incorporating deuterium anneals at earlier steps in the process and the stability of the deuterium effect with further wafer processing. We also examine the effects of varying deuterium concentration in the anneal from 10 to 100% and annealing at different temperatures. Finally, the effect of combining a deuterium anneal with nitrided gate oxide is discussed.
Date of Publication: Jan. 1999