Open Access Nano Express

Grain size dependence of dielectric relaxation in cerium oxide as high-k layer

Chun Zhao1, Ce Zhou Zhao12*, Matthew Werner134, Steve Taylor1, Paul Chalker3 and Peter King3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 3GJ, UK

2 Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, 215123, China

3 School of Engineering, Center for Materials and Structures, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 3GH, UK

4 Present address: Nanoco Technologies Ltd, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester, M13 9NT, UK

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:172  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-172

Published: 15 April 2013


Cerium oxide (CeO2) thin films used liquid injection atomic layer deposition (ALD) for deposition and ALD procedures were run at substrate temperatures of 150°C, 200°C, 250°C, 300°C, and 350°C, respectively. CeO2 were grown on n-Si(100) wafers. Variations in the grain sizes of the samples are governed by the deposition temperature and have been estimated using Scherrer analysis of the X-ray diffraction patterns. The changing grain size correlates with the changes seen in the Raman spectrum. Strong frequency dispersion is found in the capacitance-voltage measurement. Normalized dielectric constant measurement is quantitatively utilized to characterize the dielectric constant variation. The relationship extracted between grain size and dielectric relaxation for CeO2 suggests that tuning properties for improved frequency dispersion can be achieved by controlling the grain size, hence the strain at the nanoscale dimensions.

Cerium oxide; High-k; Grain size; Dielectric relaxation