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Title: Understanding the Structure of Amorphous Thin Film Hafnia - Final Paper

Hafnium Oxide (HfO2) amorphous thin films are being used as gate oxides in transistors because of their high dielectric constant (κ) over Silicon Dioxide. The present study looks to find the atomic structure of HfO2 thin films which hasn’t been done with the technique of this study. In this study, two HfO2 samples were studied. One sample was made with thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD) on top of a Chromium and Gold layer on a silicon wafer. The second sample was made with plasma ALD on top of a Chromium and Gold layer on a Silicon wafer. Both films were deposited at a thickness of 50nm. To obtain atomic structure information, Grazing Incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD) was carried out on the HfO2 samples. Because of this, absorption, footprint, polarization, and dead time corrections were applied to the scattering intensity data collected. The scattering curves displayed a difference in structure between the ALD processes. The plasma ALD sample showed the broad peak characteristic of an amorphous structure whereas the thermal ALD sample showed an amorphous structure with characteristics of crystalline materials. This appears to suggest that the thermal process results in a mostly amorphous material with crystallites within. Further, the scatteringmore » intensity data was used to calculate a pair distribution function (PDF) to show more atomic structure. The PDF showed atom distances in the plasma ALD sample had structure up to 10 Å, while the thermal ALD sample showed the same structure below 10 Å. This structure that shows up below 10 Å matches the bond distances of HfO2 published in literature. The PDF for the thermal ALD sample also showed peaks up to 20 Å, suggesting repeating atomic spacing outside the HfO2 molecule in the sample. This appears to suggest that there is some crystalline structure within the thermal ALD sample.« less
  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States