Hafnium or zirconium high-k fab cross-contamination issues

Bert Vermeire, Viraj S. Pandit, Harold G. Parks, Srini Raghavan, Krishnaswami Ramkumar, Joong Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Hf and Zr contamination during immersion in process solutions is most likely to occur in neutral and caustic solutions. Both Hf and Zr contamination are introduced onto the wafer surface if they are present in an ammonium hydroxide peroxide mixture solution (which is caustic), but such contamination is removed using existing acid cleans. Large amounts of wafer-to-wafer cross contamination occurs in plasma etch tools. Particles can cause cross contamination in a thermal reactor during high-temperature anneals of high-k dielectric layers. Residual surface cross contamination does not diffuse into the wafers during thermal processing. If contamination remains on a wafer, gate oxide integrity degradation is only observed at high concentrations. Near surface minority carrier lifetime is also affected, but bulk lifetime is not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)582-589
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Cleaning
  • Cross contamination
  • Hafnium dioxide (HfO)
  • High-k dielectric
  • Zirconium dioxide (ZrO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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