Ferroelectric Al1−xBxN thin films integrated on Si

John Hayden, Joseph Shepard, Jon Paul Maria

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Ferroelectric Al0.93B0.07N thin films are prepared (100) Si substrates. The necessary c-axis out-of-plane orientation to observe macroscopic ferroelectric switching was achieved by implementing an initial Ar/N2 plasma treatment, followed by a thin layer of AlN to initiate the desired texture and a 150 nm W layer. The plasma treatment facilitates crystallinity enhancement of the AlN template layer, allowing for subsequent growth of highly oriented W and Al0.93B0.07N layers. The W layer exhibits random in-plane orientation and exclusive (110) out-of-plane orientation with a rocking curve width of 1.4°. When grown on these W surfaces, 175 nm thick Al0.93B0.07N films exhibit random in-plane orientation and exclusive (001) texture with rocking curve full-width-half-max values of 1.6° and RMS roughness values less than 1 nm. Polarization hysteresis measurements show robust hysteresis with coercive field values of 5.4 MV/cm and remanent polarization values of 136 μC/cm2. XPS depth profile analysis suggests that the plasma treatment converts the existing native oxide to a nitrogen rich oxynitride with approximate composition Si3O0.5N3.67. Cross-sectional TEM reveals that the oxynitride interlayer is amorphous and ∼3.4 nm thick, more than double the native oxide thickness measured by multiwavelength ellipsometry, implying that (oxy)nitride growth continues after conversion of the native oxide. This new family of ferroelectric wurtzites is interesting from an integration perspective given their chemical compatibility with mainstream semiconductors. Developing synthesis routes that promote needed texture while preserving compatible processing windows is an important step toward practical integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number072901
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 14 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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