High-K Dielectrics: Extending Current Semiconductor Manufacturing Techniques by Alexander Glavtchev

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High-K Dielectrics: Extending Current Semiconductor Manufacturing Techniques by Alexander Glavtchev Slide 2 Introduction Since the 1960s semiconductor industry has used poly- Silicon gate with a Silicon dioxide gate dielectric layer. Continuing miniaturization has thinned the SiO 2 gate dielectric layer to ~5 atomic layers, or less than 2nm in thickness. Electron tunneling is a major concern at this level as it contributes to current leakage through the gate. Further scaling would increase the already-problematic gate current leakage (I G ) and lead to power loss, increased power consumption, and generate excess heat. New materials with high dielectric constant, k, are needed to avoid abrupt and costly technological and manufacturing process changes, reduce leakage, and improve performance. Slide 3 Introduction Slide 4 Physics Research by Intel has shown that a thicker high-k dielectric gate increases overall capacitance while decreasing the leakage current by ~100X. Transistors are becoming horizontally smaller, therefore a vertically-thicker dielectric gate is not a problem. Slide 5 Why is Capacitance Important? W is the transistor channel width L is the transistor channel length is carrier mobility (which can be treated as a constant in this approximation) C is the capacitance density associated with the gate dielectric V G is the applied gate voltage V D is the applied drain voltage V T is the threshold voltage The drive current ID for a MOSFET can be approximated by the following equation: Slide 6 Why is Capacitance Important? It can be seen that I D increases almost linearly with V D until a maximum I D is reached when: I DS is the saturated drain current, and it results when V G V T and a carrier channel has been established under the gate. Thus, it can be seen that decreasing the channel length or increasing the Capacitance will increase the drain current I DS and establish a channel beneath the gate (ON state). and Slide 7 The capacitance of the gate can be modeled as a parallel- plate capacitor (ignoring quantum effects and depletion): Physics where A is the Area of the capacitor and t is the thickness. Since the t is greater for the new dielectric gate material, it requires an even larger dielectric constant k to increase the overall capacitance thats where the new high-k dielectric materials come into play. These materials are Hafnium- based and will have k > 3.9, the dielectric constant of SiO 2. Slide 8 Why high-k dielectric? Experimental data shows that a higher k has a greater effect on total capacitance than a decreasing thickness. Furthermore, a thicker Hafnium-based dielectric gate with a metal gate increases resistance and reduces the unwanted gate leakage current. Slide 9 Why high-k dielectric? In addition, Intel has shown that the gate delay between I ON /I OFF is less when using a high-k/metal gate setup instead of the traditional poly-Silicon/SiO 2 setup. This allows for faster signal transmission and a better I ON /I OFF ratio, allowing for more accurate reading of the ones and zeros of binary data. Slide 10 The poly-Si gate is not electromagnetically compatible with the new high-k dielectric. Phonon scattering and Fermi level pinning. New manufacturing methods for atomic level deposition needed. Short-term solution - additional advances in lithography and technology are needed to improve performance in the long run. Challenges and Issues Slide 11 Metal Gate vs. SiO 2 Phonon scattering is greater using a high-k/poly-Si dielectric than the traditional SiO 2 /poly-Si. This leads to decreased channel mobility. Use of a metal gate can help increase the surface mobility. Slide 12 Slide 13 Metal Gate vs. SiO 2 Slide 14 High-k dielectrics are vital for next-generation low power-consumption, low leakage, high performance logic devices. Non-silicon high-mobility materials may require extensive use of high-k dielectrics (e.g. Ge, III-V quantum wells, carbon nanotubes). Formation and compatibility of high-k dielectrics better with non-silicon materials (non SiO 2 - based). The Future Slide 15 Use of non-silicon Ge substrate with a high- k and a metal gate increases the total capacitance. High-k dielectrics are more compatible with non- Si materials. Intel has shown that formation of high-k dielectric on Ge is of greater quality than forming SiO 2 on Ge. Slide 16 Slide 17 www.intel.com www.wikipedia.com www.computer.org High-k gate dielectrics: Current status and materials properties considerations. Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 89, No. 10. Sources