Effects of nitrogen incorporation in HfO2 grown on InP by atomic layer deposition: An evolution in structural, chemical, and electrical characteristics

Yu Seon Kang, Dae Kyoung Kim, Hang Kyu Kang, Kwang Sik Jeong, Mann Ho Cho, Dae Hong Ko, Hyoungsub Kim, Jung Hye Seo, Dong Chan Kim

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14 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the effects of postnitridation on the structural characteristics and interfacial reactions of HfO2 thin films grown on InP by atomic layer deposition (ALD) as a function of film thickness. By postdeposition annealing under NH3 vapor (PDN) at 600 °C, an InN layer formed at the HfO2/InP interface, and ionized NHx was incorporated in the HfO2 film. We demonstrate that structural changes resulting from nitridation of HfO2/InP depend on the film thickness (i.e., a single-crystal interfacial layer of h-InN formed at thin (2 nm) HfO2/InP interfaces, whereas an amorphous InN layer formed at thick (>6 nm) HfO2/InP interfaces). Consequently, the tetragonal structure of HfO2 transformed into a mixture structure of tetragonal and monoclinic because the interfacial InN layer relieved interfacial strain between HfO2 and InP. During postdeposition annealing (PDA) in HfO2/InP at 600 °C, large numbers of oxidation states were generated as a result of interfacial reactions between interdiffused oxygen impurities and out-diffused InP substrate elements. However, in the case of the PDN of HfO2/InP structures at 600 °C, nitrogen incorporation in the HfO2 film effectively blocked the out-diffusion of atomic In and P, thus suppressing the formation of oxidation states. Accordingly, the number of interfacial defect states (Dit) within the band gap of InP was significantly reduced, which was also supported by DFT calculations. Interfacial InN in HfO2/InP increased the electron-barrier height to ∼0.6 eV, which led to low-leakage-current density in the gate voltage region over 2 V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3896-3906
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 26

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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