CUED Publications database

High-density remote plasma sputtering of high-dielectric-constant amorphous hafnium oxide films

Li, FM and Bayer, BC and Hofmann, S and Speakman, SP and Ducati, C and Milne, WI and Flewitt, AJ (2013) High-density remote plasma sputtering of high-dielectric-constant amorphous hafnium oxide films. Physica Status Solidi (B) Basic Research, 250. pp. 957-967. ISSN 0370-1972

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Hafnium oxide (HfOx) is a high dielectric constant (k) oxide which has been identified as being suitable for use as the gate dielectric in thin film transistors (TFTs). Amorphous materials are preferred for a gate dielectric, but it has been an ongoing challenge to produce amorphous HfOx while maintaining a high dielectric constant. A technique called high target utilization sputtering (HiTUS) is demonstrated to be capable of depositing high-k amorphous HfOx thin films at room temperature. The plasma is generated in a remote chamber, allowing higher rate deposition of films with minimal ion damage. Compared to a conventional sputtering system, the HiTUS technique allows finer control of the thin film microstructure. Using a conventional reactive rf magnetron sputtering technique, monoclinic nanocrystalline HfOx thin films have been deposited at a rate of ∼1.6nmmin-1 at room temperature, with a resistivity of 1013Ωcm, a breakdown strength of 3.5MVcm-1 and a dielectric constant of ∼18.2. By comparison, using the HiTUS process, amorphous HfOx (x=2.1) thin films which appear to have a cubic-like short-range order have been deposited at a high deposition rate of ∼25nmmin-1 with a high resistivity of 1014Ωcm, a breakdown strength of 3MVcm-1 and a high dielectric constant of ∼30. Two key conditions must be satisfied in the HiTUS system for high-k HfOx to be produced. Firstly, the correct oxygen flow rate is required for a given sputtering rate from the metallic target. Secondly, there must be an absence of energetic oxygen ion bombardment to maintain an amorphous microstructure and a high flux of medium energy species emitted from the metallic sputtering target to induce a cubic-like short range order. This HfOx is very attractive as a dielectric material for large-area electronic applications on flexible substrates. A remote plasma sputtering process (high target utilization sputtering, HiTUS) has been used to deposit amorphous hafnium oxide with a very high dielectric constant (∼30). X-ray diffraction shows that this material has a microstructure in which the atoms have a cubic-like short-range order, whereas radio frequency (rf) magnetron sputtering produced a monoclinic polycrystalline microstructure. This is correlated to the difference in the energetics of remote plasma and rf magnetron sputtering processes. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div B > Solid State Electronics and Nanoscale Science
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 18 May 2016 18:11
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2016 02:07
DOI: 10.1002/pssb.201248520