Three-dimensional imaging of individual hafnium atoms inside a semiconductor device

K van Bentham, Andrew Lupini, Miyoung Kim, Hion Baik, Seokjoo Doh, Jong-Ho Lee, M Oxley, Scott Findlay, Leslie Allen, Julia Luck, Stephen Pennycook

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217 Citations (Scopus)


The aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope allows probes to be formed with less than 1-?? diameter, providing sufficient sensitivity to observe individual Hf atoms within the SiO2 passivating layer of a HfO2 SiO2 Si alternative gate dielectric stack. Furthermore, the depth resolution is sufficient to localize the atom positions to half-nanometer precision in the third dimension. From a through-focal series of images, we demonstrate a three-dimensional reconstruction of the Hf atom sites, representing a three-dimensional map of potential breakdown sites within the gate dielectric.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 3
Number of pages1
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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