Characteristics of the inter-poly Al2O3 dielectrics on NH3-nitrided bottom poly-Si for next-generation flash memories

Yeong Yuh Chen, Chao-Hsin Chien*, Jen Chung Lou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of surface NH3 nitridation of the bottom poly-Si film, and post-deposition annealing (PDA) temperature, on the electrical properties and reliability characteristics of aluminum oxide (Al 2O3) inter-poly capacitors, were evaluated in this study. The polarity-dependent dielectric properties of Al2O3 inter-poly dielectrics (IPDs) were strongly affected by both surface nitridation and the annealing temperature. For positive gate bias, IPDs with NH3 surface nitridation significantly suppressed the formation of an additional layer with a lower dielectric constant, during the post-annealing process, and obtained a smoother interface, compared to those without nitridation treatment. Furthermore, the presence of a thin Si-N layer made the PDA more effective in eliminating the traps existing in the as-deposited films, and improved dielectric characteristics, under negative polarity. As a result, the smoother interface and smaller electron trapping rate contributed to the drastically reduced leakage current, enhanced breakdown field, and charge to breakdown (Qbd) of the Al2O3 inter-poly capacitors with surface NH3 nitridation. Moreover, the electrical properties of Al2O3 IPD were heavily dependent upon the PDA temperature. The sample exhibited optimal quality in terms of leakage current, electron trapping rate and Qbd when annealed at 900°C. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Auger electron spectroscopy analyses have shown that this occurrence arises from various compositions, under different annealing conditions and excess oxygen, which can act as an electron trapping center, playing an important role in determining IPD electrical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1704-1710
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Volume44
Issue number4 A
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2005

Keywords

  • AlO
  • Aluminum oxide
  • Electron trapping
  • High-k dielectric
  • Inter-poly dielectric
  • IPD

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