Fan Yang

Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)


Electrical Engineering


David E. Kotecki

Second Committee Member

John Vetelino

Third Committee Member

Robert Lad


Hafnium oxide (HfOn) is a promising dielectric for future microelectronic applications. Hf02 thin films (10-75nm) were deposited on Pt/Si02/Si substrates by pulsed DC magnetron reactive sputtering. Top electrodes of Pt were formed by e-beam evapo- ration through an aperture mask on the samples to create MIM (Metal-Insulator-Metal) capacitors. Various processing conditions (Arloz ratio, DC power and deposition rate) and post-deposition annealing conditions (time and temperature) were investigated. The structure of the Hf02 films was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and the roughness was measured by a profilometer. The electrical properties were characterized in terms of their relative permittivity (E,(T) and ~,.(f)) and leakage behavior (I-V, I-T and I- time). The electrical measurements were performed over a temperature range from -5 to 200°C. For the samples with best experimental results, the relative permittivity of HfOa was found to be -- 27 after anneal and increased by 0.027%/"C with increasing temperature over the measured temperature range. At 25"C, leakage current density was below lop8 ~ l c m ' at 1 volt. The leakage current increased with temperature above a specific threshold temperature below which the leakage current didn't change much. The leakage current increased with voltage. At voltages below lvolt, it's ohmic; at higher voltages, it follows Schottky model. The breakdown field is - 1 . 8 2 ~ lo6 Vlcm. The optical bandgap was measured with samples deposited on quartz substrates to be 5.4eV after anneal.