Applied Physics Letters

Germanium-induced stabilization of a very high- k zirconia phase in ZrO2 / GeO2 gate stacks

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Electrical data on ZrO2 / GeO2 stacks prepared by atomic oxygen beam deposition on Ge at 225 °C reveal a relatively weak dependence of the stack equivalent oxide thickness upon the ZrO2 thickness. This trend points to a very high zirconia dielectric permittivity (k) value which is estimated to be around 44. This is indicative of zirconia crystallization into a tetragonal phase which is also supported by x-ray diffraction data. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis is in line with the assumption that due to a finite GeO2 decomposition, Ge is incorporated into the growing ZrO2, thus, stabilizing the high- k tetragonal phase. © 2008 American Institute of Physics.