Journal of Applied Physics

Quantification of local strain distributions in nanoscale strained SiGe FinFET structures

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Strain within nanoscale strained SiGe FinFET structures has been investigated using a combination of X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy-based nanobeam diffraction (NBD) techniques to reveal the evolution of the stress state within the FinFETs. Reciprocal space maps collected using high-resolution X-ray diffraction exhibited distinct features corresponding to the SiGe fin width, pitch, and lattice deformation and were analyzed to quantify the state of stress within the fins. Although the majority of the SiGe fin volume exhibited a uniaxial stress state due to elastic relaxation of the transverse in-plane stress, NBD measurements confirmed a small interaction region near the SOI interface that is mechanically constrained by the underlying substrate. We have quantitatively characterized the evolution of the fin stress state from biaxial to uniaxial as a function of fin aspect ratio and Ge fraction and confirmed that the fins obey elastic deformation based on a model that depends on the relative difference between the equilibrium Si and SiGe lattice constants and relative fraction of in-plane stress transverse to the SiGe fins. Spatially resolved, nanobeam X-ray diffraction measurements conducted near the SiGe fin edge indicate the presence of additional elastic relaxation from a uniaxial stress state to a fully relaxed state at the fin edge. Mapping of the lattice deformation within 500 nm of this fin edge by NBD revealed large gradients, particularly at the top corner of the fin. The values of the volume averaged lattice deformation obtained by nanoXRD and NBD are qualitatively consistent. Furthermore, the modulation of strain at the fin edge obtained by quantitative analysis of the nanoXRD results agrees with the lattice deformation profile obtained by NBD.