Plasma-induced charging damage in ultrathin (3-nm) gate oxides

Chi Chun Chen, Horng-Chih Lin, Chun Yen Chang, Mong Song Liang, Chao-Hsin Chien, Szu Kang Hsien, Tiao Yuan Huang, Tien-Sheng Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Plasma-induced damage in various 3-nm-thick gate oxides (i.e., pure oxides and N2O-nitrided oxides) was investigated by subjecting both nMOS and pMOS antenna devices to a photoresist ashing step after metal pad definition. Both charge-to-breakdown and gate leakage current measurements indicated that large leakage current occurs at the wafer center as well as the wafer edge for pMOS devices, while only at the wafer center for nMOS devices. These interesting observations could be explained by the strong polarity dependence of ultra-thin oxides in charge-to-breakdown measurements of nMOS devices. In addition, pMOS devices were found to be more susceptible to charging damage, which can be attributed to the intrinsic polarity dependence in tunneling current between n- and p-MOSFET,s. More importantly, our experimental results demonstrated that stress-induced leakage current (SILC) caused by plasma damage can be significantly suppressed in N2O-nitrided oxides, compared to pure oxides, especially for pMOS devices. Finally, nitrided oxides were also found to be more robust when subjected to high temperature stressing. Therefore, nitrided oxides appear to be very promising for reducing plasma charging damage in future ULSI technologies employing ultrathin gate oxides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1360
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2000


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