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Investigation of lanthanum and hafnium-based dielectric films by X-ray reflectivity, spectroscopic ellipsometry and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

Vincent Edon 1Marie-Christine Hugon 1Bernard Agius 1Olivier Durand 2Céline Eypert 3Christophe Cardinaud 4

1. Laboratoire de Physique des Gaz et des Plasmas (LPGP), Bât. 210 Université Paris-Sud, Orsay 91405, France
2. Thales Research and Technology (TRT), Route Départementale 128, Palaiseau 91767, France
3. HORIBA Jobin Yvon, Thin Film Division, Chilly-Mazarin 91380, France
4. LPCM, Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel, 2 rue de la Houssinière, Nantes 44322, France


The use of insulating materials bearing higher dielectric constant than that of silicon oxide in CMOS devices is compulsory for all technology nodes requiring gate dielectric with EOT smaller than 1 nm. Two of potential candidates are LaAlO3 and HfAlO. Investigation of film and high-k/Si interlayer composition by several non-destructive optical methods is a possible way to control the integrity of the performed structure during the fabrication process. We discuss here the morphology and composition of LaAlO3 and HfAlO thin films accessed by X-ray reflectometry (XRR), spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). LaAlO3 and HfAlO gate dielectrics were sputtered from ceramic target and deposited on HF last clean or thermally nitrided Si. Experimental XRR profile and its associated Fast Fourier Transform were used to extract absolute thicknesses, densities and interfacial roughnesses of thin films. Absolute thicknesses given by XRR were used in SE measurements to determine optical constants and composition of the films. XPS complemental analysis was performed to analyze the chemical bondings in thin films, in particular at the high-k/substrate interface.

A three-layer model was found both in XRR and SE analysis to be the best optical model for as-deposited and annealed films. It was composed of an interfacial layer, covered by a layer of pure LaAlO3 or HfAlO, and a surface-roughness layer. XRR analysis showed that the dielectric/Si interface of the HfAlO/SiON/Si structure had a significantly smaller roughness than those of HfAlO/Si. SE studies revealed that in the case of LaAlO3 and HfAlO deposited on Si, the interfacial layer is a mixture of high-k material and amorphous-Si inclusions. The SiON-like interface did not change significantly after thermal annealing in O2. XPS also pointed out the superior diffusion barrier properties brought by SiON/Si substrates before LaAlO3, and to a greater extent, HfAlO deposition.


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Presentation: Poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2007, Symposium H, by Olivier Durand
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2007

Submitted: 2007-06-06 17:57
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44