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Title: The application of MEIS for the physical characterisation of high-k ultra thin dielectric layers in microelectronic devices
Author: Reading, Michael Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 5126
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2010
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During the last decade the use of 8162 as gate dielectric layers in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) microelectronic devices has become increasingly problematic due to leakage resulting from the electron tunnelling with gate oxide thickness approaching 1 nm. Approaches to deal with these problems have focused on increasing the dielectric constant (k) of the material, initially though nitridation of the oxide layer and more recently the application of high-A: materials such as Hf based dielectrics. The work described in this thesis concerns the physical characterisation of thin high-A: multilayered samples using medium energy ion scattering (MEIS). A MEIS computer simulation model was applied and adapted to enable the interpretation of depth profiles from MEIS energy spectra. Forming part of an EU collaborative project, results obtained were compared to those of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray fluoresence (XRF) to provide a better overall understanding of the characteristics of the layers. Nanometre thin SiC>2 layers nitrided using a novel plasma nitridation technique were investigated, demonstrated the nitridation of, and yielded the N distributions in the SiC>2 samples as well as demonstrating plasma damage. An improved k value was found, leading to an increased equivalent oxide (EOT) thickness. Studies of HfO2 and HfSiOx nanolayers, both with and without subjection to a decoupled plasma nitridation (DPN) process were carried out, characterising the layer structures with an accuracy of 0.1 nm in excellent agreement with the additional techniques. Crystallisation of the HfO2 layers, but not of the HfSiOx layers, after DPN was demonstrated. A high-A; metal gate Si/SiO2/HfO2/Al2O3/TiN stack was also investigated and Hf/Al interdiffusion demonstrated upon annealing. Finally Si/TiN/STO layers grown using different stoichiometric recipes, with and without a rapid thermal anneal at 650°C for 15s, were analysed. Layer structures were again determined with sub-nm resolution and diffusion between the Sr and Ti layers was observed after annealing. The high level of agreement between the depth profiles derived from the MEIS energy spectra, the growth parameters and the results from additional techniques has demonstrated the capability of MEIS in combination with spectrum simulation for the accurate analysis of these demanding ultra thin layer structures.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available