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The Anomalous Behavior of the Dielectric Constant of Hafnium Silicates: A First Principles Study

We present an extensive ab initio study of the structural and dielectric properties of hafnium silicates
Hf(x)Si(1-x)O(2) that accounts for the observed anomalous dependence on composition of the static dielectric constant in the entire x-range. The results reveal that this complex behavior reflects that of the structural development with x, from silica to hafnia, and clarify how different growth processes can also lead to scattered sets of data. Several simple models proposed thus far to explain part of the experimental data are shown to be inadequate. It is argued that silicate layers with low hafnium content form at the HfO(2)/Si interface and play a crucial role in preserving high electron mobility in the channel.

By: Carlo A. Pignedoli, Alessandro Curioni and Wanda Andreoni

Published in: Physical Review Letters, volume 98, (no 3), pages 037602 in 2007

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