By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Technology -- Researchers detail new data in Thin Solid Films. According to news originating from Hsinchu, Taiwan, by VerticalNews correspondents, research stated, "As the devices scale down, HfO2 is an excellent gate dielectric material and can replace SiO2 in complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology. However, the mechanical property-based reliability such as wear resistance and deformation mechanism are rarely understood."
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Industrial Technology Research Institute, "This paper describes the effect of annealing treatment on 20-nm-thick HfO2 films under varying applied normal forces (31.3-104.2 mu N). According to grazing incident X-ray diffraction analysis, the HfO2 thin films changed from amorphous to polycrystalline structure after annealing treatment. The scratch depth relative to initial surface was proportional to normal force. In addition, plowing behavior dominated the deformation mechanism in the form of lumps along the edge of groove by atomic force microscopy images. The annealing-induced crystallization resulted in reduced penetration depth, coefficient of friction, and wear rate at all applied normal forces, indicating that the surface hardness and wear resistance of HfO2 thin films can be enhanced through appropriate annealing treatment. Furthermore, substrate effect caused negative correlation between wear resistance and normal force was not obvious to annealed samples."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "It could be attributed to the broadening of HfSixOy interfacial layer which enhanced the structure strength."
For more information on this research see: Surface mechanical property assessment of ultra-thin HfO2 films. Thin Solid Films, 2013;544():212-217. Thin Solid Films can be contacted at: Elsevier Science Sa, PO Box 564, 1001 Lausanne, Switzerland. (Elsevier - www.elsevier.com; Thin Solid Films - www.elsevier.com/wps/product/cws_home/504106)
The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from W.E. Fu, Ind Technol Res Inst, Center Measurement Stand, Hsinchu 30011, Taiwan. Additional authors for this research include B.C. He and Y.Q. Chang.
Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Taiwan, Hsinchu, Treatment, Thin Solid Films
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