Correlation between the reliability of ultra-thin ISSG SiO2 and hydrogen content

T. Y. Luo, H. N. Al-Shareef, G. A. Brown, M. Laughery, V. H.C. Watt, A. Karamcheti, Marc Jackson, H. R. Huff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The electrical characteristics of NMOS capacitors fabricated using high quality, ultra-thin (20-25 angstroms) SiO2, grown by in-situ steam generation (ISSG) in a rapid thermal processing system, and a clustered amorphous Si gate electrode is reported. The results show that, in addition to the enhanced growth rate of ISSG oxides, the lower stress-induced leakage current (SILC) and significantly improved reliability of ISSG SiO2, such as a longer time-to-breakdown (TBD) under a constant voltage stress and larger charge-to-breakdown (QBD) characteristics, as compared to SiO2 of similar equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) grown by rapid thermal oxidation (RTO). In addition, it is also found that the reliability of ISSG oxide is considerably improved as the H2 percentage increases. The result of Fourier-transformed infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy indicates that ISSG oxides exhibit lower compressive strain than RTO oxides. Such appreciably improved reliability of ISSG oxide and reduced compressive strain may be explained by the reduction of defects within the structural transition layer (STL) between SiO2 and Si substrate, such as weak Si-Si bonds (oxygen vacancies) and strained Si-O bonds, by highly reactive oxygen atoms which are hypothesized to be dissociated from the molecular oxygen due to the presence of hydrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-231
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 18 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Charge-to-breakdown (QBD)
  • In-situ steam generated (ISSG) oxide
  • SILC
  • Strained Si-O bonds
  • Structural transition layer (STL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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