Replacing the traditional SiO2 gate oxide in a MOSFET with ferroelectric HfO2 creates a 1T memory device referred to as a FeFET. The bi-stable polarization states cause a retained threshold voltage shift known as the memory window. Ferroelectric HfO2 offers a number of material and electrical advantages over perovskite based ferroelectrics such as PZT or SBT. Due to its use as a high-k dielectric, the ALD capability and etch characteristics of hafnium oxide are well documented. Ferroelectric HfO2 has been shown to be thermally stable up to 1000 C, making gate first FeFET processes feasible. Electrically, HfO2 is capable of achieving much larger memory windows due to a high coercive field, on the order of 1-2 MV/cm. This property also allows for much thinner films (<30 nm) without degradation of the memory window, and the potential for finFET applications.
This work focuses on the integration of aluminum doped HfO2 into a standard RIT FET process. Previous work at RIT has led to the development of an ALD recipe and subsequent anneal to induce the ferroelectric crystal phase in Al:HfO2. In this work, n-channel MOSFETs with aluminum gate/20nm Al:HfO2/p-Si have been de- signed and fabricated. Etching of Al:HfO2 has been investigated using chlorine based plasma etching. The devices show a subthreshold slope of 75 mV/dec. Pulse testing reveals significant threshold voltage shift due to electron charge trapping commonly observed in Hf based dielectrics. I-V characteristics show mobility degradation, which is caused by Coulomb scattering as a result of trapped charges. For the devices to exhibit ferroelectric behavior with high on-state current, measurement and mitigation of charge trapping need to be further investigated.
Microelectronic Engineering (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Microelectronic Engineering (KGCOE)
McMurdy, George, "Fabrication of Al:HfO2 Gate Dielectric MOSFETs" (2019). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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