The electrical and physical properties of thin hafnium oxide (HfO2) films fabricated by a remote plasma oxidation of a hafnium metal were investigated. The HfO2 capacitors with TiN electrodes exhibited excellent electrical characteristics such as equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) of 0.65 nm with leakage current density of 2.7 A/cm2 at the gate bias of Vfb-1 (V). The HfO2 thickness dependence of the EOT demonstrated that the permittivity of 19 for HfO2 layer and the interfacial layer thickness of 0.36 nm. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study revealed that the oxygen radicals oxidize the Hf metal selectively than Si substrate, leading to an increase of permittivity of HfO2 with reduced interfacial layer growth. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.