Plasma nitridation of very thin gate dielectrics

H. N. Al-Shareef*, G. Bersuker, C. Lim, R. Murto, S. Borthakur, G. A. Brown, H. R. Huff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The performance of NMOSFET devices with nitrided gate oxides has been compared using two plasma-based nitridation techniques. Specifically, remote plasma nitridation (RPN) and decoupled plasma nitridation (DPN) of 1.4 nm base oxides were evaluated. It is found that both nitridation techniques give comparable leakage current performance, where 4-10× leakage current reduction can be achieved compared to un-nitrided oxides. The flatband voltages of the DPN-nitrided gate dielectric are larger (more negative) than those of RPN-nitrided gate dielectric, possibly indicating more fixed charge for the DPN process conditions used. The normalized peak transconductance of RPN and DPN-nitrided gate dielectrics depends on the detailed nitridation conditions, but can be comparable to that of un-nitrided oxides. The normalized drive currents are largest for the DPN-nitrided oxides, most likely because of the smaller threshold voltage measured after DPN nitridation. The results suggest that for NMOSFET devices, the two nitridation processes (RPN and DPN), if properly optimized, can give comparable device performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-322
Number of pages6
JournalMicroelectronic Engineering
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event12th Biannual Conference on Insulating Films on Semi-Conductors (INFOS 2001) - Udine, Italy
Duration: Jun 20 2001Jun 23 2001


  • DPN
  • Gate oxide
  • Nitridation
  • RPN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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