IEEE Electron Device Letters

Low Weibull slope of breakdown distributions in high-k layers

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The reliability of various Al2O3, ZrO2 and Al2O3/ZrO2 double layers with a physical oxide thickness from 3 nm to 15 nm and TiN gate electrodes was studied by measuring time-to-breakdown using gate injection and constant voltage stress. The extracted Weibull slope β of the breakdown distribution is found to be below 2 and shows no obvious thickness dependence. These findings deviate from previous results on intrinsic breakdown in SiO2, where a strong thickness dependence was explained by the percolation model. Although promising performance on devices with high-k layers as dielectric can be obtained, it is argued that gate oxide reliability is likely limited by extrinsic factors.