According to the ITRS (2004) high performance device trends will soon require high-k dielectrics with metal gate electrodes to remove poly depletion effects, achieve lower gate resistance, eliminate B penetration issues, and reduce interaction of the gate materials and the underlying high-k films. This study discusses the challenges and opportunities in identifying candidate material systems and associated processing techniques for future generation CMOS metal gates. The development of a standardized technique to accurately extract the work function of metal gates on hafnium based high-k dielectrics is forwarded. Additionally, a preliminary understanding of the structure-property inter-relationship of candidate metals is presented. The material systems include a) pure metals, b) metal nitrides, c) ternary metal nitrides, and d) alloys.