Characterization of the interface between the Hf-based high-k thin film and the Si using spatially resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy

X. F. Wang, Quan Li, P. F. Lee, Jiyan Dai, X. G. Gong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The interfacial structures of HfO2and HfAlO thin films on Si have been investigated using spatially resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy. We have found that interfaces are not atomically sharp, and variation in the symmetry of the local atomic coordination lasts for a couple of monolayers for both the as-deposited HfO2and the HfAlO samples. Annealing of the HfO2film in the oxygen environment leads to the formation of a thick SiO2/SiOxstack layer in-between the original HfO2and the Si substrate. As a comparison, the interfacial stability is significantly improved by Al incorporation into the HfO2film (forming HfAlO), which effectively reduced/eliminated the interfacial silicon oxide formation during the oxygen annealing process. The mechanism of the high-k film/substrate stabilization by Al incorporation is discussed based on the experimental results. Crown
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Electron energy-loss spectroscopy
  • HfAlO
  • HfO 2
  • High-k dielectric
  • Interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Cell Biology

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