The Development of Spectroscopic Techniques to Study Defects in Thin Film Silicon-Dioxide
This dissertation research concerns the study of defects in thin film sputtered SiO_2 which is used as an optical coating material. The capacitance-voltage and current-voltage techniques typically used in microelectronics investigations were used to examine the concentration, location, and kinetics of charge in an aluminum-sputtered oxide-native oxide-silicon capacitor. The response of the capacitor to low field bias stress reveals a hysteretic trapping behavior similar to that observed in microelectronic grade oxide films. In an effort to understand this phenomenon, a band-to-trap tunneling model was developed based on the assumption that the defect involved exhibits a delta function spatial distribution and an extended energy distribution. The central feature of this model, defect relaxation, provides a physical explanation for the hysteretic trapping behavior. Analysis yields that the trap is located spatially within 2 nm of the Si/SiO _2 interface and energetically less than 5 eV from the SiO_2 conduction band edge. The relaxation energy associated with the capture of an electron at the trap is 0.1-2.2 eV. Correlation of the electrical measurements executed for this investigation with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) data obtained by Dr. P. Caplan provides structural information about the defect involved with the hysteretic trapping phenomenon. EPR results obtained before and after subjecting an oxide-silicon structure to corona discharge suggest that the trapping center is an E^ ' defect. The technique of band-to-trap tunneling spectroscopy combined with the EPR experiments provides the first reported trap depth associated with the capture of a hole at an E^' center located near the silicon surface of an oxide/silicon system.
- Pub Date:
- Physics: Condensed Matter