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Improving the quality
of gate dielectric interface

Kontrox drastically reduces the surface defect state density at the interface between the semiconductor and the gate dielectric

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HR-TEM images from ALD Al2O3-GaAs(100) interface with and without  Kontrox treatment. The Kontrox-treated structure exhibits unprecedentedly low levels of surface defects and a sharp III-V dielectric interface.

Semiconductor-dielectric interface plays a crucial role in semiconductor devices determining their performance. In compound semiconductor-based transistors, achieving sufficient interface quality is extremely difficult because of the aggressive oxidation.

Kontrox transforms the surface of III-V material into high-quality, thermodynamically stable crystalline oxide structures. These structures passivate and protect the surface against oxidation before the deposition of dielectric material, ensuring the highest quality interfaces. 

Kontrox layers are thermodynamically stable against high-temperature annealing, ambient air, and aggressive ALD precursors. They not only reduce the interface states but also increase the barrier height at the surface, acting as a natural diffusion barrier for further oxidation. The improved interfaces are verified by dramatic enhancement in the PL intensity, indicating reduced defect-related non-radiative recombination.

In transistor applications, the passivation effect of Kontrox is evident when comparing III-V MIS capacitors produced with and without the Kontrox passivation layer for the technologically important InAs and AlGaN/GaN MIS structures. With capacitance-voltage (CV) measurements, a drastic reduction of frequency-dependent capacitance dispersion is achieved with Kontrox, both for arsenide- and nitride-based MIS structures. 

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w/o passivation

Kontrox

CV measurement comparison of the state-of-the-art cleaning + ALD InAs(100) MIS-stack and Kontrox+ALD InAs MIS stack

Key Enabler for III-V CMOS

Silicon-related digital transistor technology has been dominating the IC industry for several decades. However, the geometrical transistor scaling as per Moore’s law is facing its fundamental limits as the smallest dimensions in the chips are soon at the atomic level. It is generally accepted that Moore’s law cannot continue without new solutions and innovations in the front-end-of-line (FEOL) device architectures. This includes introducing new materials of which the III-V compound semiconductors are the main candidates for substituting silicon. The main reason is even an order of magnitude higher carrier mobilities compared to silicon allowing higher operating frequencies at equivalent chip dimensions compared to silicon.

Discover

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Substrate wafers

Kontrox forms a high-quality homogeneous termination layer to reduce epi-growth defects and improve wafer bonding processes. 

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Passivation of MESA sidewalls

In optoelectronic devices, surface recombination and leakage of carriers impose serious limitations on the efficiency of semiconductor devices. Kontrox prevents this from happening.