Germanium is because of its intrinsically higher mobility than Si, currently under consideration as an alternative approach to improve transistor performance. Germanium oxide, however, is thermodynamically unstable, preventing formation of the gate dielectric by simple oxidation. At present, high-k dielectrics might be considered as an enabling technology as much progress has been made in the deposition of thin high-quality layers.
In this paper, we study the growth and physical properties of HfO2 deposited on Ge by MOCVD, using TDEAH and O2 as precursors, and compare the results to similar layers deposited on silicon substrates. Our results show that the physical properties of MOCVD-deposited HfO2 layers on Ge are very similar to what we have observed in the past for Si. Unfortunately, some of the negative aspects observed for Si, such as diffusion of substrate material in the high-k layer, a low density for thinner layers, or a rough top surface, are also observed for the case of Ge. However, careful surface pretreatments such as NH3 annealing the Ge substrate prior to deposition, can greatly improve the physical properties. An important observation is the very thin interfacial layer between HfO2 and Ge substrate, allowing a more aggressive scaling for Ge.