Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 (HZO) thin films are promising candidates for non-volatile memory and other related applications due to their demonstrated ferroelectricity at the nanoscale and compatibility with Si processing. However, one reason that HZO has not been fully scaled into industrial applications is due to its deleterious wake-up and fatigue behavior which leads to an inconsistent remanent polarization during cycling. In this study, we explore an interfacial engineering strategy in which we insert 1 nm Al2O3 interlayers at either the top or bottom HZO/TiN interface of sequentially deposited metal-ferroelectric-metal capacitors. By inserting an interfacial layer while limiting exposure to the ambient environment, we successfully introduce a protective passivating layer of Al2O3 that provides excess oxygen to mitigate vacancy formation at the interface. We report that TiN/HZO/TiN capacitors with a 1 nm Al2O3 at the top interface demonstrate a higher remanent polarization (2Pr ∼ 42 μC cm−2) and endurance limit beyond 108 cycles at a cycling field amplitude of 3.5 MV cm−1. We use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction to elucidate the origin of enhanced endurance and leakage properties in capacitors with an inserted 1 nm Al2O3 layer. We demonstrate that the use of Al2O3 as a passivating dielectric, coupled with sequential ALD fabrication, is an effective means of interfacial engineering and enhances the performance of ferroelectric HZO devices.
|Number of pages
|Published - 19 Mar 2023
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- AlO, ferroelectric, hafnia, interlayers, metal-ferroelectric-metal, thin film, Ferroelectric, Interlayers, Hafnia, Al2O3, Metal-ferroelectric-metal, Thin film