In this article, we report the results of a study of the effects of high-temperature stress annealing in nitrogen on the electrical properties of metal/oxide/semiconductor devices. In this study, we have experimentally characterized the dependence of the reduced effective contact-potential difference, the effective oxide charge (Neff), and the midgap interface trap density (Dit) on the annealing conditions in nitrogen. We have correlated such properties with the dependence of the index of refraction and oxide stress on the annealing conditions and oxide thickness in a companion article. We consider the contributions of the thermal-relaxation and nitrogen-incorporation processes in determining changes in the electrical properties with annealing time. This model description is consistent with other annealing studies carried out in argon where only the thermal-relaxation process is present.

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