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Evolution of SiO2/Ge/HfO2(Ge) multilayer structure during high temperature annealing
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Use of germanium as a storage medium combined with a high-k dielectric tunneling oxide is of interest for non-volatile memory applications. The device structure consists of a thin HfO2 tunneling oxide with a Ge layer either in the form of continuous layer or discrete nanocrystals and relatively thicker SiO2 layer functioning as a control oxide. In this work, we studied interface properties and formation kinetics in SiO2/Ge/HfO2(Ge) multilayer structure during deposition and annealing. This material structure was fabricated by magnetron sputtering and studied by depth profiling with XPS and by Raman spectroscopy. It was observed that Ge atoms penetrate into HfO2 layer during the deposition and segregate out with annealing. This is related to the low solubility of Ge in HfO2 which is observed in other oxides as well. Therefore, Ge out diffusion might be an advantage in forming well controlled floating gate on top of HfO2. In addition we observed the Ge oxidation at the interfaces, where HfSiOx formation is also detected. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.