The effects of source/drain activation thermal budget and premetallization degas conditions on interfacial regrowth, carrier mobility, and defect densities are examined for SiO2/ HfO2/TaN stacks. We observe a correlation between the mobility degradation and the interfacial re-growth possible with the thermal budget employed. The mobility degradation arises from an increase of defects, both within the interface layer (IL) and the high-κ bulk, as detected by both pulsed current-voltage and charge-pumping measurements. Two junction activation processes have been applied: a conventional process (peak temperature of 1000 °C spike for t = 1 s) and a Solid Phase Epitaxial Re-growth (SPER) (peak temperature of 650 °C for t = 60 s). For 1000 °C spike-annealed films, where the highest SiO2/IL defect density is observed, the consequent mobility degradation is explained by a transition region between HfO2 and the IL which increases for high-temperature processing.