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Measurement of Gate-Oxide Film Thickness by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

Published

Author(s)

Cedric J. Powell, Aleksander Jablonski

Abstract

X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) is being used to an increasing extent for the characterization of new gate-oxide materials, particularly for the determination of film composition, uniformity, and thickness. A key parameter for film-thickness measurements by XPS is the effective attenuation length (EAL) for a particular material, photoelectron energy, and measurement configuration. Due to the effects of elastic scattering on signal-electron trajectories, the EAL generally differs from the corresponding electron inelastic mean free path (IMFP) and is a function of film thickness and electron emission angle. We present calculations of EALs for four proposed gate-oxide materials: zirconium dioxide, hafnium dioxide, zirconium silicate, and hafnium silicate. These EALs were obtained from the NIST Electron Effective-Attenuation-Length Database that uses an analytical expression derived from solution of the Boltzmann equation within the transport approximation. The EALs were computed for the relevant photoelectron lines excited by Al characteristic x rays and for a range of film thicknesses and emission angles of practical relevance. The EALs were compared with the corresponding IMFPs to determine the magnitudes of the correction for elastic-scattering effects in each gate-oxide material. For common measurement conditions, this correction varied between 12 % and 20 %.
Proceedings Title
AIP Conference Proceedings 683, Characterization and Metrology for ULSI Technology: 2003
Volume
683
Conference Dates
March 24-28, 2003
Conference Location
Austin, TX
Conference Title
International Conference on Characterization and Metrology for ULSI Technology

Keywords

effective attenuation length, film thickness, gate dielectric, hafnium dioxide, hafnium silicate, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, zirconium dioxide, zirconium silicate

Citation

Powell, C. and Jablonski, A. (2003), Measurement of Gate-Oxide Film Thickness by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, AIP Conference Proceedings 683, Characterization and Metrology for ULSI Technology: 2003, Austin, TX (Accessed February 27, 2024)
Created September 1, 2003, Updated June 2, 2021