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J. Korean Ceram. Soc. > Volume 61(2); 2024 > Article
Journal of the Korean Ceramic Society 2024;61(2): 327-334.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43207-023-00361-x
Exploring the role of TiN electrodes in the formation of ferroelectric HfxZr1-xO2 thin films through transmission electron microscopy
Sojin Kim1, Jaewook Lee2, Jong Hyeok Seo3, Jinseok Hong1, Ji‑Hwan Kwon3, Min Hyuk Park2, Seung‑Yong Lee1
1Division of Materials Science and Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2Department of Materials Science and Engineering & Inter-University Semiconductor Research Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), Daejeon, Republic of Korea
Correspondence  Min Hyuk Park ,Email: minhyuk.park@snu.ac.kr
Seung‑Yong Lee ,Email: syonglee@hanyang.ac.kr
Received: October 30, 2023; Revised: December 8, 2023   Accepted: December 15, 2023.  Published online: January 23, 2024.
*Sojin Kim and Jaewook Lee contributed equally to this work.
The development of ferroelectric HfO2-based thin films, with their potential to revolutionize semiconductor technology, relies on comprehending the factors that drive the formation of the polar orthorhombic phase. Although TiN electrodes are known to facilitate orthorhombic phase formation, a comprehensive understanding is still lacking. Our study offers an in-depth exploration of the pivotal role played by TiN electrodes in shaping ferroelectric (Hf,Zr)O2-based thin films using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Through direct depositions of Hf0.65Zr0.35O2 (HZO) thin films and TiN masks onto a silicon membrane TEM grid, we enable a straightforward structural comparison between HZO thin films annealed with and without a TiN capping layer. This approach ensures uniform conditions across all parameters, except the presence of the TiN capping layer, while eliminating potential artifacts introduced during the TEM sampling. Our comprehensive analysis, incorporating electron diffraction, high-resolution TEM (HR-TEM), and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), delves into the possible influences of factors such as tensile strain, oxygen vacancies, and the surface atomic mobility constraint effect induced by the TiN capping layer. The results underscore the dominant role of TiN in surface atomic mobility constraint, thereby significantly contributing to the formation of ferroelectric HZO. This research promises to advance our understanding of ferroelectric materials, thus expediting the progress of ferroelectric and semiconductor technology.
Key words: Ferroelectricity · Hafnium zirconium oxide · Transmission electron microscopy · Titanium nitride electrode · Thin film
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