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Direct observation of electrically active interfacial layer defects which may cause threshold voltage instabilities in HfO2 based metal-oxide-silicon field-effect transistors

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4 Author(s)
Ryan, J.T. ; The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA ; Lenahan, P.M. ; Robertson, J. ; Bersuker, G.

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We show that a Si/HfO2 interfacial layer defect with an electron spin resonance spectrum similar to that of some E center variants responds to oxide bias consistent with an amphoteric defect. The spectrum is weakly orientation dependent indicating that the defect does not reside in a completely amorphous matrix. The defect’s spin lattice relaxation time is much shorter than that of conventional E centers suggesting that the defect involves some coupling of a Hf atom to a nearby oxygen deficient silicon dangling bond defect. This defect very likely plays an important role in widely reported instabilities in HfO2 based transistors.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:92 ,  Issue: 12 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 2008

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