Fully depleted silicon-on-insulator transistors were fabricated using two different metal gate deposition mechanisms to compare plasma damage effects on gate oxide quality. Devices fabricated with both plasma-enhanced atomic-layer-deposited (PE-ALD) TiN gates and magnetron plasma sputtered TiN gates showed very good electrostatics and short-channel characteristics. However, the gate oxide quality was markedly better for PE-ALD TiN. A significant reduction in interface state density was inferred from capacitance-voltage measurements as well as a 1200 x reduction in gate leakage current. A high-power magnetron plasma source produces a much higher energetic ion and vacuum ultra-violet (VUV) photon flux to the wafer compared to a low-power inductively coupled PE-ALD source. The ion and VUV photons produce defect states in the bulk of the gate oxide as well as at the oxide-silicon interface, causing higher leakage and potential reliability degradation.