Structural, optical and electrical properties of yttrium-doped hafnium oxide nanocrystalline thin films

Abhilash Kongu, University of Texas at El Paso


Hafnium oxide (HfO2) has emerged as the most promising high-k dielectric for Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (MOS) devices and has been highlighted as the most suitable dielectric materials to replace silicon oxide because of its comprehensive performance. In the present research, yttrium-doped HfO2 (YDH) thin films were fabricated using RF magnetron sputter deposition onto Si (100) and quartz with a variable thickness. Cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy coupled with Filmetrics revealed that film thickness values range from 700 A° to 7500 A°. Electrical properties such as AC Resistivity and current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of YDH films were studied. YDH films that were relatively thin (<1500 >A°) crystallized in monoclinic phase while thicker films crystallized in cubic phase. The band gap (Eg) of the films was calculated from the optical measurements. The band gap was found to be ∼5.60 eV for monoclinic while it is ∼6.05 eV for cubic phase of YDH films. Frequency dependence of the electrical resistivity (ρac) and the total conductivity of the films were measured. Resistivity decreased (by three orders of magnitude) with increasing frequency from 100 Hz to 1 MHz, attributed due to the hopping mechanism in YDH films. Whereas, while ρac∼1Ω-m at low frequencies (100 Hz), it decreased to ∼ 104 Ω-cm at higher frequencies (1 MHz). Aluminum (Al) metal electrodes were deposited to fabricate a thin film capacitor with YDH layer as dielectric film thereby employing Al-YDH-Si capacitor structure. The results indicate that the capacitance of the films decrease with increasing film thickness. A detailed analysis of the electrical characteristics of YDH films is presented.

Subject Area

Electrical engineering|Optics|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Kongu, Abhilash, "Structural, optical and electrical properties of yttrium-doped hafnium oxide nanocrystalline thin films" (2013). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1551229.