In situ steam generated (ISSG) oxides have recently attracted interest for use as gate dielectrics because of their demonstrated reliability improvement over oxides formed by dry oxidation. [G. Minor, G. King, H. S. Joo, E. Sanchez, Y. Yokota, C. Chen, D. Lopes, and A. Balakrishna, Electrochem. Soc. Symp. Proc. 99-10, 3 (1999); T. Y. Luo, H. N. Al-Shareef, G. A. Brown, M. Laughery, V. Watt, A. Karamcheti, M. D. Jackson, and H. R. Huff, Proc. SPIE 4181, 220 (2000).] We show in this letter that nitridation of ISSG oxide using a remote plasma decreases the gate leakage current of ISSG oxide by an order of magnitude without significantly degrading transistor performance. In particular, it is shown that the peak normalized transconductance of n-channel devices with an ISSG oxide gate dielectric decreases by only 4% and the normalized drive current by only 3% after remote plasma nitridation (RPN). In addition, it is shown that the reliability of the ISSG oxide exhibits only a small degradation after RPN. These observations suggest that the ISSG/RPN process holds promise for gate dielectric applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)