Ultra-Thin Atomic Layer Deposited TiN Films: Non-Linear I–V Behaviour and the Importance of Surface Passivation

B. Van Hao, Antonius A.I. Aarnink, Alexeij Y. Kovalgin, Robertus A.M. Wolters

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    We report the electrical resistivity of atomic layer deposited TiN thin films in the thickness range 2.5-20 nm. The measurements were carried out using the circular transfer length method structures. For the films with thickness in the range of 10-20 nm, the measurements exhibited linear current-voltage (I-V) curves. The sheet resistance Rsh was determined, and the resistivity was calculated. A value of 120 μΩ-cm was obtained for a 20 nm TiN layer. With decreasing film thickness, the resistivity slightly increased and reached 135 μΩ-cm for a 10 nm film. However, the measurements on 2.5-5.0 nm thick films revealed non-linear I-V characteristics, implying the dependence of the measured resistance, and therefore the resistivity, of the layers on applied voltage. The influence of the native oxidation due to the exposure of the films to air was taken into account. To fully eliminate this oxidation, a highly-resistive amorphous silicon layer was deposited directly after the ALD of TiN. The electrical measurements on the passivated 2.5- and 3.5 nm TiN layers then exhibited linear I-V characteristics. A resistivity of 400 and 310 μΩ-cm was obtained for a 2.5- and 3.5 nm TiN film, respectively.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)8120-8125
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of nanoscience and nanotechnology
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011


    • EWI-20958
    • I–V Characteristics
    • Resistivity
    • Circular Transfer Length Method
    • Titanium Nitride
    • METIS-281625
    • IR-78808
    • Thin Films

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