A positive bias temperature instability (PBTI) recovery transient technique is presented to investigate trap properties in HfSiON as high-k gate dielectric in nMOSFETs. Both large- and small-area nMOSFETs are characterized. In a large-area device, the post-PBTI drain current exhibits a recovery transient and follows logarithmic time dependence. In a small-area device, individual trapped electron emission from HfSiON gate dielectric, which is manifested by a staircase-like drain current evolution with time, is observed during recovery. By measuring the temperature and gate voltage dependence of trapped electron emission times, the physical mechanism for PBTI recovery is developed. An analytical model based on thermally assisted tunneling can successfully reproduce measured transient characteristics. In addition, HfSiON trap properties, such as trap density and activation energy, are characterized by this method.
- High-k trap properties
- Positive bias temperature instability (PBTI) recovery transient
- Single electron emission
- Thermally assisted tunneling