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Additional resources for High-k gate dielectrics
The most commonly used inert gases are nitrogen and argon. Besides purging the excess precursor molecules and by-products out of the reactor, inert gases are also used for transporting the precursors. Purity is the key property because the inert gas supply serves as the largest source of impurities, well exceeding any minor leakage possibly left after careful helium leak testing . Reactive residuals, particularly moisture, must be at a ppm level, or lower. 5 slm in small research reactors to a few tens of slm in production reactors.
Polycrystalline materials are reported to have quite high densities, exceeding 90% of the bulk values. Amorphous ﬁlms, by contrast, may have much lower densities as is understandable from their disordered structure. 97 g cm23 [30, 45]. There are no reports on epitaxial growth of oxides on silicon by ALD. Al2O3 Al(CH3)3 – H2O process Basically all the ALD Al2O3 studies on gate oxides have used the Al(CH3)3 – H2O process. This precursor combination is often considered as the most ideal ALD process developed so far: both precursors are volatile liquids and thus easy to handle, they show high reactivity towards each other, they are relatively inexpensive and have high enough thermal stability to allow ALD of high-k gate oxide materials 39 deposition temperatures of 4008C and even higher, and the reaction byproduct methane is unreactive.
Later, it was shown that higher permittivities of 8 – 9 , and even 11 after annealing at 10008C [39, 48], are attainable, but the problem of negative charge seems to remain. The Al(CH3)3 –H2O process has been thoroughly examined. 1 A˚/cycle appears to be an upper limit [41, 42, 49 – 51]. Various reaction mechanism studies [42, 49, 51] agree that the ﬁlm growth proceeds through alternate surface reactions where Al(CH3)3 adsorbs by undergoing exchange reactions with the surface hydroxyl groups, and the resulting – Al(CH3)3 2 x surface species serve as reactive sites for water in the next step of the process which converts the surface back to hydroxyl group terminated.