In this work, energy-filtered TEM nano-beam diffraction (NBD) technique was used to evaluate channel strain profile in pMOS transistors suffering low Idsat issue. TEM and EDX analysis showed nickel deep diffusion into embedded SiGe source/drain. Such defect not only led to leakage current from S/D to substrate but might also reduce compressive strain induced to channel by eSiGe. Comparison of channel-direction strain between bad and good samples using NBD confirmed strain relaxation in bad sample which explained low Idsat as a result of reduced holes mobility.

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