Dielectric breakdown (BD) in polycrystalline HfO2/SiO 2 gate stacks has been studied using a conductive atomic force microscopy (CAFM) technique, which allows employing a nanosize probe to apply a highly localized electrical stress. The resulting BD statistics indicate that BD preferentially occurs in the interfacial SiO2 (IL) layer beneath the grain boundaries (GBs) of the overlaying polycrystalline HfO2 film due to higher conductivity of the GB compared to that of the grains. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Conductive atomic force microscopy
- Dielectric breakdown
- Grain boundaries
- Weibull distributions