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Electron Spin Resonance Characterization of Defects at Interfaces in Stacks of Ultrathin High-κ Dielectric Layers on Silicon

  • A. L. Stesmans (a1) and V.V. Afanas'ev (a1)


Electron spin resonance (ESR) analysis of (100)Si/SiO x /ZrO2, (100)Si/Al2O3 and Si/HfO2 structures with nm-thin dielectric layers deposited by different chemical vapor deposition procedures reveals, after hydrogen detachment, the presence of the trivalent Si dangling-bond-type centers Pb0, Pb1 as prominent defects in all entities. This Pb0, Pb1 fingerprint, generally unique for the thermal (100)Si/SiO2 interface, indicates that the as-deposited (100)Si/metal oxides interface is basically Si/SiO2-like. Though sensitive to the deposition process, the Pb0 density is found to be substantially larger than in standard (100)Si/SiO2. As probed by the Pb- type center properties, the Si/dielectric interfaces of all structures are under enhanced (unrelaxed) stress, typical for low temperature Si/SiO2 growth. Standard quality thermal Si/SiO2 properties in terms of Pb signature may be approached by appropriate annealing (≥ 650°C) in vacuum in the case of (100)Si/SiO x /ZrO2. Yet, O2 ambient appears required for Si/Al2O3 and Si/HfO2. It appears that Si/high-κ metal oxide structures with device grade quality interfaces can be realized with sub-nm thin SiO x interlayers. The density of fast interface states closely matches the Pb0 density variations, suggesting the center as the dominant fast interface trap. They may be efficiently passivated in H2 at 400 °C.



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