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Zirconium oxide is investigated as a possible replacement for SiO/sub 2/ gate dielectric thinner than 1.5 nm. A maximum capacitance of 31 fF//spl mu/m/sup 2/ (measured in accumulation at -2 V) is obtained for a 3.9 nm ZrO/sub 2/ film with leakage current of /spl sim/1 mA/cm/sup 2/ at -1.0 V, yielding an equivalent oxide thickness of less than 1.0 nm. Doping with Al produced amorphous films with better uniformity, but slightly lower dielectric constant. Submicron MOSFETs with TiN gate electrode and ZrO/sub 2/ or Al doped ZrO/sub 2/ gate dielectrics have been fabricated and good device performance is obtained.