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The effects of surface phonon scattering in an nMOSFET with a high-k gate insulator and a nonideal metal gate are examined. The nonideal metal gate model depends on three parameters: (1) the density of electrons in the gate; (2) the electron effective mass; and (3) the high-frequency dielectric constant associated with the choice of gate metal. The impact of these parameters on surface optical (SO) mobility is demonstrated using TiN as an example. For the selected choice of parameters and Landau damping limits, the results indicate that SO phonon scattering does not seem to play a significant role in the mobility degradation of TiN/HfO2 MOSFETs for the entire range of sheet concentration.