This study aims to improve the electrical characteristics and reliability of low-pressure chemical vapor deposited (LPCVD) tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) films by a new post-deposition annealing technique using high-density plasma (HDP). Experimental results indicate that excited oxygen atoms generated by N2O decomposition from HDP annealing can effectively reduce the carbon and hydrogen impurity concentrations and repair the oxygen vacancies in the as-deposited CVD Ta2O5 film, thereby resulting in a remarkable reduction of the film's leakage current. Two other post-deposition annealing conditions are compared: HDP O2 annealing and conventional plasma O2 annealing. The comparison reveals that HDP N2O annealing has the lowest leakage current and superior time-dependent dielectric breakdown (TDDB) reliability.
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