Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Zhi David Chen


The progress of the silicon-based complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology is mainly contributed to the scaling of the individual component. After decades of development, the scaling trend is approaching to its limitation, and there is urgent needs for the innovations of the materials and structures of the MOS devices, in order to postpone the end of the scaling. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) provides precise control of the deposited thin film at the atomic scale, and has wide application not only in the MOS technology, but also in other nanostructures. In this dissertation, I study rapid thermal processing (RTP) treatment of thermally grown SiO2, ALD growth of SiO2, and ALD growth of high-k HfO2 dielectric materials for gate oxides of MOS devices. Using a lateral heating treatment of SiO2, the gate leakage current of SiO2 based MOS capacitors was reduced by 4 order of magnitude, and the underlying mechanism was studied. Ultrathin SiO2 films were grown by ALD, and the electrical properties of the films and the SiO2/Si interface were extensively studied. High quality HfO2 films were grown using ALD on a chemical oxide. The dependence of interfacial quality on the thickness of the chemical oxide was studied. Finally I studied growth of HfO2 on two innovative interfacial layers, an interfacial layer grown by in-situ ALD ozone/water cycle exposure and an interfacial layer of etched thermal and RTP SiO2. The effectiveness of growth of high-quality HfO2 using the two interfacial layers are comparable to that of the chemical oxide. The interfacial properties are studied in details using XPS and ellipsometry.