Effect of plasma treatment on the microstructure and electrical properties of MIM capacitors with PECVD silicon oxide and silicon nitride
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Metal–insulator–metal (MIM) capacitors with plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposited (PECVD) nitride exhibit trap-induced dispersive behavior and electrical hysteresis, which lead to degradation in capacitor linearity at low frequencies. The dominant defect was suggested to be silicon dangling bonds originated from nitrogen deficiency. Previous methods to eliminate the dispersive behavior and electrical hysteresis include use of oxide–nitride–oxide (ONO) stacks and/or plasma pre-treatment of silicon substrate before nitride deposition [Van Huylenbroeck S, Decoutere S, Venegas R, Jenei S, Winderickx G (2002) IEEE Electron Device Lett 23:191; Lau WS (1990) Jpn J Appl Phys 29:L690]. In this study, the plasma post-treatment method was employed; MIM capacitors with PECVD oxide and nitride were treated with N2O and SiH4/NH3 plasma, respectively, after deposition of the dielectric layer. No apparent change in film microstructure is observed after plasma treatment. Plasma post-treatment is effective in eliminating the electrical hysteresis shift of the nitride capacitors. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) absorption spectra suggest an increase of the Si–H bond after SiH4/NH3 plasma bombardment of the nitride films. Auger depth profiling indicates a slight increase of nitrogen to silicon ratio after plasma treatment. The increase of the Si–H bonds as well as the raise of nitrogen to silicon ratio are two possible causes for the elimination of the hysteresis shift of the plasma-treated nitride capacitors. The time dependent dielectric breakdown testing indicates a decrease in both the leakage current and the lifetime of the MIM capacitors treated with plasma. Possible dielectric degradation mechanism is explored.
KeywordsPlasma Treatment Plasma Enhance Chemical Vapor Deposition Nitride Film Silicon Nitride Film Auger Depth Profile
This work is sponsored by National Science Council, Taiwan, under the contract number NSC 93-2216-E-009-023.
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