Atomic Layer Deposition and Characterization of Amorphous ErxTi1-xOy Dielectric Ultra-Thin Films
journal contributionposted on 02.01.2014 by Runshen Xu, Christos G. Takoudis
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Er1-xTixOy dielectric thin films were deposited on Si(100) substrates by atomic layer deposition (ALD) using tris(methylcyclopentadienyl) erbium [(CpMe)(3)Er] and tetrakis(diethylamino) titanium [TDEAT] as metal precursors, and O-3 as oxidant. The deposition temperature dependence of both Er2O3 and TiO2 film growths showed the overlapping ALD window of 175-250 degrees C. Compositional tunability of Er1-xTixOy films was obtained through deposition process control. Carbon and nitrogen impurities in as-deposited films were found to be below X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy detection level. Glancing incidence X-ray diffraction and phase-shifting interferometry results showed that ErxTi1-xOy films with ALD cycle ratios (Er2O3/TiO2) of 1: 8 or higher have a good thermal stability and remain amorphous with unchanged surface roughness after post-deposition rapid thermal processing (RTP) at 700 degrees C in O-2. Electrical measurements showed that optimized amorphous Er1-xTixOy films after RTP exhibited a dielectric constant of similar to 36, a hysteresis voltage of less than 10 mV, and a leakage current density of 10(-8) A/cm(2) at - 1 MV/cm; such properties compare favorably with the properties of other reported amorphous titanium-based ternary dielectrics on Si. The sizable reduction of leakage current density of Er1-xTixOy found in our study suggests that amorphous Er1-xTixOy thin films are promising future dielectrics in Si integrated circuit technology.