Ge Nanostructures Embedded in ZrO2 Dielectric Films for Nonvolatile Memory Applications
Nowadays, germanium has attracted a wide interest because of its improved hole mobility in comparison to silicon and the 0.6-eV-bandgap making it attractive for electronic applications. However, Ge oxides show an unstable behavior whereas for success application a good passivation of the Ge surface is mandatory. In this regard, high-k dielectrics are a promising candidate for Ge surface passivation. In this work, we will present the results obtained for Ge-doped ZrO2 dielectrics fabricated by RF magnetron sputtering in terms of the effect of deposition conditions on GeZrOx solid solution formation as well as the effect of annealing treatment on its phase separation and modification of Ge and ZrO2phases’ properties.
The Ge-doped ZrO2 composite films as well as Ge-ZrO2/ZrO2 multilayer structures were investigated. The samples were fabricated by confocal RF magnetron sputtering of pure Ge and ZrO2targets in Ar plasma. The structural, optical and electrical properties of the samples were studied by means of spectroscopic ellipsometry, C-V (I-V), Raman scattering, FTIR and TEM methods versus deposition conditions and annealing treatment.
It was observed that Ge-doped ZrO2 materials demonstrate phase separation upon thermal treatment. At the same time the “start point” of this phase separation depends significantly on Ge content in Ge-doped-ZrO2 materials and/or Ge-doped sublayer thickness in multilayer structures. Although the phase separation begins at about 600-700°C, the higher Ge content and/or thicker Ge-doped sublayer result in the lowering of the annealing temperature stimulated phase separation and an appearance and crystallization of Ge nanoclusters. Along with this the formation of tetragonal ZrO2 occurs that offers an achievement of higher dielectric constant. In addition, this leads to an orientation relation between the crystallized ZrO2and Ge nanosclustes. We will discussed in details the mechanism of phase separation that is the first step towards an in-situ passivation of the Ge surface. The obtained results demonstrate that the RF magnetron sputtering is a promising technique for the production of different structures and devices fully based on high-k dielectrics.
This work is supported by DAAD grant (A/14/02380).
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