/Reliability characterizations of high-k dielectrics used in advanced MIM capacitors

Reliability characterizations of high-k dielectrics used in advanced MIM capacitors

Master projects/internships - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Explore the reliability of high-k dielectrics and their impact on future 3D interconnect systems

Metal–insulator–metal (MIM) capacitors are key components of advanced integrated circuits (IC). They are widely used to perform decoupling, filtering or RF functions. The constant search for more complex systems with ever increasing performances relies on a continual down-scaling of device dimensions. Consequently, shrinking the area occupied by MIM capacitors is essential while a constant increase of their capacitance values is required to maintain the decoupling performances in advanced nodes power delivery networks (PDN). Achieving larger capacitance densities, while preserving a minimal thickness to minimize the leakage current requires using high k dielectrics with permittivity larger than 15 such as HfO2 or ZrO2. However, one of the key obstacles to high-k integration are the defects in these materials and the lack of understanding about their nature. 
During this internship, Al-, Hf- and Zr-based high-k materials of various thicknesses and integrated in MIS stacks will be investigated. The project focuses on time-dependent dielectric breakdown measurements (TDDB - dc/ac) performed at various temperatures to determine the lifetime characteristics of dielectrics. For this, a constant voltage stress is applied while the leakage current is monitored. In that way, the acceleration and lifetime models are extracted to study the dielectric breakdown and degradation of the structures. 
Furthermore, various monitoring measurements (C(V), C(f), transient currents...) will be performed while stressing the dielectrics to characterize the evolution of defects in these materials. The goal of the internship is to understand the nature and dynamics of the defects present in these materials. 
The candidate ideally has a background in Material Sciences, Physics, Physics engineering or equivalent. You will carry out TDDB measurements and other characterization techniques on MIS structures with different high-k materials. The data will be analyzed by the student and interpreted with the help of the supervisor. 

Type of Project: Combination of internship and thesis 

Master's degree: Master of Science; Master of Engineering Science 

Master program: Nanoscience & Nanotechnology; Physics; Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering 

Duration: 6 months 

For more information or application, please contact Corinna Fohn (corinna.fohn@imec.be) and Emmanuel Chery (emmanuel.chery@imec.be)

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