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Suppression of Electrical Breakdown in Silicon Nitride Films Deposited by Catalytic Chemical Vapor Deposition at Temperatures Below 200 °C

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Silicon nitride (SiNx) films for a gate dielectric layer of thin film transistors were deposited by catalytic chemical vapor deposition at a low temperature (≤200 °C). A mixture of SiH4, NH3 and H2 was used as a source gas. Metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) capacitor structures were fabricated for current–voltage (IV) and capacitance–voltage (CV) measurements. The breakdown voltage characteristics of the SiNx films were improved by the increase of NH3/SiH4 and H2/SiH4 mixing ratios and substrate temperatures. H2 treatment was attempted to improve the breakdown voltage further. A breakdown voltage as high as 6.6 MV/cm was obtained after H2 annealing at 180 °C. The defect states inside the SiNx films were analyzed by photoluminescence spectra. Silicon dangling bonds (2.5 eV) and nitrogen dangling bonds (3.1 eV) were observed. These defect states inside the SiNx films disappeared after H2 annealing. Flat band voltage shifts were observed in CV curves, and their magnitudes decreased as the defect states inside the SiNx films decreased.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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