Atomic-layer deposited thulium oxide as a passivation layer on germanium

I.Z. Mitrovic, S. Hall, M. Althobaiti, D. Hesp, V.R. Dhanak, A. Santoni, A.D. Weerakkody, N. Sedghi, P.R. Chalker, C. Henkel, E. Dentoni Litta, P.-E. Hellström, M. Östling, H. Tan, S. Schamm-Chardon

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A comprehensive study of atomic-layer deposited thulium oxide (Tm2O3) on germanium has been conducted using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), vacuum ultra-violet variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and electron energy-loss spectroscopy. The valence band offset is found to be 3.05±0.2eV for Tm2O3/p-Ge from the Tm 4d centroid and Ge 3p3/2charge-corrected XPS core-level spectra taken at different sputtering times of a single bulk thulium oxide sample. A negligible downward band bending of ∼0.12eV is observed during progressive differential charging of Tm 4d peaks. The optical band gap is estimated from the absorption edge and found to be 5.77eV with an apparent Urbach tail signifying band gap tailing at ∼5.3eV. The latter has been correlated to HRTEM and electron diffraction results corroborating the polycrystalline nature of the Tm2O3films. The Tm2O3/Ge interface is found to be rather atomically abrupt with sub-nanometer thickness. In addition, the band line-up of reference GeO2/n-Ge stacks obtained by thermal oxidation has been discussed and derived. The observed low reactivity of thulium oxide on germanium as well as the high effective barriers for holes (∼3eV) and electrons (∼2eV) identify Tm2O3as a strong contender for interfacial layer engineering in future generations of scaled high-κ gate stacks on Ge.
Original languageEnglish
Article number214104
Pages (from-to)-
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Mitrovic, I. Z., Hall, S., Althobaiti, M., Hesp, D., Dhanak, V. R., Santoni, A., ... Schamm-Chardon, S. (2015). Atomic-layer deposited thulium oxide as a passivation layer on germanium. Journal of Applied Physics, 117(21), -. [214104].