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Interface formation during molecular beam epitaxial growth of neodymium oxide on silicon



The Si/dielectric interface properties influence device performance significantly. Often the interface is not stable and changes during and/or after the growth. For a better understanding of the interface and layer formation processes of Nd 2 O 3 Nd 2 O 3 on Si(001), as an example for the lanthanide oxides, well-defined experimental studies by reflection high-energy diffraction and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were performed under ultraclean ultrahigh vacuum conditions of molecular beam epitaxy. Complementary investigations were performed by transmission electron microscopy. We found that Nd 2 O 3 Nd 2 O 3 is a candidate for replacing silicon dioxide as gate dielectric in future Si devices with suitable band gap and offset with respect to silicon. However, under ultrahigh vacuum conditions, silicide formation occurs in the initial stage of growth, which can result in large silicide inclusions and hole formation during further growth. This effect can be completely prevented by modifying the oxygen partial pressure during the interface formation and layer growth.



Journal of Applied PhysicsAmerican Institute of Physics

Published: Apr 1, 2006

Keywords: silicon; neodymium compounds; elemental semiconductors; high-k dielectric thin films; dielectric materials; insulating materials; epitaxial layers; molecular beam epitaxial growth; semiconductor-insulator boundaries; reflection high energy electron diffraction; X-ray photoelectron spectra; transmission electron microscopy; energy gap; inclusions; interface structure

DOI: 10.1063/1.2188051

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