Effect of deep-level defects on surface recombination velocity at the interface between silicon and dielectric films

Babak Imangholi, Fee Li Lie, Harold G. Parks, Anthony J. Muscat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The surface recombination velocity (SRV) characteristic of deep-level defects at Si interfaces with dielectric thin films was obtained from conductance measurements on metal-insulator-semiconductor capacitor (MISCAP) devices. The dielectrics in contact with Si were thermal SiO2 (Tox), chemical SiO2, and atomic layer deposition (ALD) Al2O 3, which were annealed and exposed to a low flux of X-rays. A modified conductance technique was developed in which a large ac signal was superimposed on a dc bias and the surface potential was swept across the band gap of aMISCAP from near accumulation to deep depletion. The frequency-dependent energy loss due to all defects across the band gap and their correlations were measured using the effective equivalent conductance. A model containing one resistor and one capacitor was sufficient to describe the frequencydependent energy losses due to defects with similar activities. The total SRV was 112 ± 19 cm/s for Si/Tox, 1045 ± 150 cm/s for Si/chemical SiO 2/Al2O3, and 578 ± 96 cm/s for Si/Al2O3 interfaces. After forming gas annealing at 400 °C, the SRV decreased to ∼1 cm/s for both Si/Tox and Si/chemical SiO2/Al2O3 and 47 ± 6 cm/s for Si/Al2O3. Vacuum annealing improved the Si/chemical SiO2/Al2O3 interface but had an adverse effect on Si/Al2O3. Soft X-ray exposure increased the SRV of both Si/chemical SiO2/Al2O3 and Si/Al 2O3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5418959
Pages (from-to)877-889
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Defect
  • Interface
  • Metal-insulator-semiconductor capacitor (MISCAP) device
  • Surface recombination velocity (SRV)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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