Low-temperature SiON films deposited by plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition method using activated silicon precursor

Sungin Suh, Seung Wook Ryu, Seongjae Cho, Jun Rae Kim, Seongkyung Kim, Cheol Seong Hwang, Hyeong Joon Kim

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It has not been an easy task to deposit SiN at low temperature by conventional plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PE-ALD) since Si organic precursors generally have high activation energy for adsorption of the Si atoms on the Si-N networks. In this work, in order to achieve successful deposition of SiN film at low temperature, the plasma processing steps in the PE-ALD have been modified for easier activation of Si precursors. In this modification, the efficiency of chemisorption of Si precursor has been improved by additional plasma steps after purging of the Si precursor. As the result, the SiN films prepared by the modified PE-ALD processes demonstrated higher purity of Si and N atoms with unwanted impurities such as C and O having below 10 at. % and Si-rich films could be formed consequently. Also, a very high step coverage ratio of 97% was obtained. Furthermore, the process-optimized SiN film showed a permissible charge-trapping capability with a wide memory window of 3.1 V when a capacitor structure was fabricated and measured with an insertion of the SiN film as the charge-trap layer. The modified PE-ALD process using the activated Si precursor would be one of the most practical and promising solutions for SiN deposition with lower thermal budget and higher cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number01A136
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

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© 2015 American Vacuum Society.


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