Plasma doping (PD) is an alternative technique to form shallow junctions in deep-submicrometer microelectronic devices. Previous studies have demonstrated that PD produces shallow junctions with better efficiency than those by conventional low energy beam-line doping (BD). In addition, even though cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy reveals that the surface layer is amorphized after high dose BF3 PD or BD implantation, PD samples show less residual defects after rapid thermal annealing. For ultrashallow junctions, doping profiles with a high dopant concentration near the surface are required for the formation of low resistant contacts. In this article, we demonstrate the use of nonideal voltage pulse shape in achieving advantageous doping profiles that are difficult to obtain via BD. By performing particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation, we derive the ion energy distributions for different sample voltage pulse shapes for BF3 PD. Comparison of the PD boron depth profiles simulated by PIC and an assumed Gaussian implant profile to the BD boron depth profiles simulated by TRIM shows a low energy component that does not exist in BD samples. The rise and fall time of the sample voltage pulse contributes to the overall energy distribution since a long rise or fall time increases the low energy component. We postulate that these low energy ions may also change the nature of the amorphized layer and are one of the reasons for the reduction of residual defects after rapid thermal annealing. The preferred sample voltage pulse for plasma doping is suggested to be a short one with a relatively long rise and fall time. This is something that is very difficult to achieve by beam-line ion implantation. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.