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Ultra-Thin Atomic Layer Deposited TiN Films: Non-Linear IV Behaviour and the Importance of Surface Passivation

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We report the electrical resistivity of atomic layer deposited TiN thin films in the thickness range 2.5–20 nm. The measurements were carried out using the circular transfer length method structures. For the films with thickness in the range of 10–20 nm, the measurements exhibited linear current-voltage (IV) curves. The sheet resistance R sh was determined, and the resistivity was calculated. A value of 120 μΩ-cm was obtained for a 20 nm TiN layer. With decreasing film thickness, the resistivity slightly increased and reached 135 μΩ-cm for a 10 nm film. However, the measurements on 2.5–5.0 nm thick films revealed non-linear IV characteristics, implying the dependence of the measured resistance, and therefore the resistivity, of the layers on applied voltage. The influence of the native oxidation due to the exposure of the films to air was taken into account. To fully eliminate this oxidation, a highly-resistive amorphous silicon layer was deposited directly after the ALD of TiN. The electrical measurements on the passivated 2.5- and 3.5 nm TiN layers then exhibited linear IV characteristics. A resistivity of 400 and 310 μΩ-cm was obtained for a 2.5- and 3.5 nm TiN film, respectively.
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Keywords: CIRCULAR TRANSFER LENGTH METHOD; I-V CHARACTERISTICS; RESISTIVITY; THIN FILMS; TITANIUM NITRIDE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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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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