Investigation of electrically active defects at the interface of high-k dielectrics and compound semiconductors

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O'Connor, Éamon
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University College Cork
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As silicon based devices in integrated circuits reach the fundamental limits of dimensional scaling there is growing research interest in the use of high electron mobility channel materials, such as indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs), in conjunction with high dielectric constant (high-k) gate oxides, for Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor (MOSFET) based devices. The motivation for employing high mobility channel materials is to reduce power dissipation in integrated circuits while also providing improved performance. One of the primary challenges to date in the field of III-V semiconductors has been the observation of high levels of defect densities at the high-k/III-V interface, which prevents surface inversion of the semiconductor. The work presented in this PhD thesis details the characterization of MOS devices incorporating high-k dielectrics on III-V semiconductors. The analysis examines the effect of modifying the semiconductor bandgap in MOS structures incorporating InxGa1-xAs (x: 0, 0.15. 0.3, 0.53) layers, the optimization of device passivation procedures designed to reduce interface defect densities, and analysis of such electrically active interface defect states for the high-k/InGaAs system. Devices are characterized primarily through capacitance-voltage (CV) and conductance-voltage (GV) measurements of MOS structures both as a function of frequency and temperature. In particular, the density of electrically active interface states was reduced to the level which allowed the observation of true surface inversion behavior in the In0.53Ga0.47As MOS system. This was achieved by developing an optimized (NH4)2S passivation, minimized air exposure, and atomic layer deposition of an Al2O3 gate oxide. An extraction of activation energies allows discrimination of the mechanisms responsible for the inversion response. Finally a new approach is described to determine the minority carrier generation lifetime and the oxide capacitance in MOS structures. The method is demonstrated for an In0.53Ga0.47As system, but is generally applicable to any MOS structure exhibiting a minority carrier response in inversion.
InGaAs , GaAs , MOS capacitor , High-k , Inversion , Interface states , Ammonium sulfide
O'Connor, E. 2014. Investigation of electrically active defects at the interface of high-k dielectrics and compound semiconductors. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.