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Nucleation of atomic-layer-deposited HfO2 films, and evolution of their microstructure, studied by grazing incidence small angle x-ray scattering using synchrotron radiation

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8 Author(s)
Green, M.L. ; National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899 ; Allen, A.J. ; Li, X. ; Wang, J.
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We report the results of grazing incidence small angle x-ray scattering experiments on the nucleation and growth of atomic layer deposited HfO2 films. The scattering features are internal (porosity) and external (roughness) surfaces. Films grown on H-terminated Si exhibit greater scattering than films grown on chemically oxidized Si. The films grown on H-terminated Si may be as much as 50% porous. Characteristic scattering feature sizes are those of the film nuclei, about 2 nm, which then coalesce and become inherited features of the films. Films grown on chemically oxidized Si are observed to coalesce at about 25 growth cycles.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:88 ,  Issue: 3 )