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The effects of in situ O2 plasma treatment on device characteristics and reliability of metal-gate/high-k devices are investigated systematically. It was found that the O2 plasma treatment can be employed for mitigating the formation of a leakage path between the high-k dielectric and the capping nitride layer. It also did not change the threshold voltage (Vth), carrier mobility, or equivalent oxide thickness. Compared with the control samples, the O2 plasma-treated samples achieved a 20-times lower OFF-state current and enhanced hot-carrier-injection stress immunity.
Date of Publication: June 2008