Ultrathin silicon dioxide (SiO2) layers formed on Si substrate with nitric acid have been investigated using both acoustic deep-level transient spectroscopy (A-DLTS) and electrical methods to characterize the interface states. The set of SiO2/Si structures formed in different conditions (reaction time, concentrations of nitric acid (HNO3), and SiO2 thickness [3â€“9 nm]) was prepared. The leakage current density was decreased by post-oxidation annealing (POA) treatment at 250Â°C in pure nitrogen for 1 h and/or post-metallization annealing (PMA) treatment at 250Â°C in a hydrogen atmosphere for 1 h. All structures of the set, except electrical investigation, current-voltage (I - V), and capacitance â€” voltage (C - V) measurements, were investigated using A-DLTS to find both the interface states distribution and the role of POA and/or PMA treatment on the interface-state occurrence and distribution. The evident decreases of interface states and shift of their activation energies in the structures with PMA treatment in comparison with POA treatment were observed in most of the investigated structures. The results are analyzed and discussed.
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