MINA-NEWS #18 - February 2012
CMOS 20 nm transistors get an ultra-high-performance grid oxide and metal layer
Leti recently developed an ultra-high-performance oxide/metal layer with exceptional properties. The layer is obtained by applying a TaCN (tantalum carbon nitride) alloy layer to an insulating hafnium oxide layer. The result? The hafnium oxide offers the same insulating properties as a 0.85 nm silicon oxide layer, but with leakage currents reduced by a factor of 100,000.
A new process—atomic thin-layer deposition—was used to create the 20 nm-compatible stacked layer. Researchers are now looking at ways to optimize the thickness of each layer and the interactions between the layers. They are also using angular XPS, conducted in conjunction with CNRS lab LTM, to explore the physical phenomena that enable the massive reduction in leakage currents.