Process Evaluation and Characterization of Tungsten Nitride as a Diffusion Barrier for Copper Interconnect Technology

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The integration of copper (Cu) and dielectric materials has been outlined in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) as a critical goal for future microelectronic devices. A necessity toward achieving this goal is the development of diffusion barriers that resolve the Cu and dielectric incompatibility. The focus of this research examines the potential use of tungsten nitride as a diffusion barrier by characterizing the interfacial properties with Cu and evaluating its process capability for industrial use. Tungsten nitride (β-W2N) development has been carried out using a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technique that utilizes tungsten hexafluoride (WF6), nitrogen ... continued below

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Ekstrom, Bradley Mitsuharu August 2005.

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  • Ekstrom, Bradley Mitsuharu

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The integration of copper (Cu) and dielectric materials has been outlined in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) as a critical goal for future microelectronic devices. A necessity toward achieving this goal is the development of diffusion barriers that resolve the Cu and dielectric incompatibility. The focus of this research examines the potential use of tungsten nitride as a diffusion barrier by characterizing the interfacial properties with Cu and evaluating its process capability for industrial use. Tungsten nitride (β-W2N) development has been carried out using a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technique that utilizes tungsten hexafluoride (WF6), nitrogen (N2), hydrogen (H2), and argon (Ar). Two design of experiments (DOE) were performed to optimize the process with respect to film stoichiometry, resistivity and uniformity across a 200 mm diameter Si wafer. Auger depth profiling showed a 2:1 W:N ratio. X-ray diffraction (XRD) showed a broad peak centered on the β-W2N phase. Film resistivity was 270 mohm-cm and film uniformity < 3 %. The step coverage (film thickness variance) across a structured etched dielectric (SiO2, 0.35 mm, 3:1 aspect ratio) was > 44 %. Secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) measurements showed good barrier performance for W2N between Cu and SiO2 with no intermixing of the Cu and silicon when annealed to 390o C for 3 hours. Cu nucleation behavior and thermal stability on clean and nitrided tungsten foil (WxN = δ-WN and β-W2N phases) have been characterized by Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS) under controlled ultra high vacuum (UHV) conditions. At room temperature, the Auger intensity ratio vs. time plots demonstrates layer by layer Cu growth for the clean tungsten (W) surface and three-dimensional nucleation for the nitride overlayer. Auger intensity ratio vs. temperature measurements for the Cu/W system indicates a stable interface up to 1000 K. For the Cu /WxN/W system, initial Cu diffusion into the nitride overlayer is observed at 550 K.

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  • August 2005

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 4:16 p.m.

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  • Feb. 26, 2008, 2:09 p.m.

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Ekstrom, Bradley Mitsuharu. Process Evaluation and Characterization of Tungsten Nitride as a Diffusion Barrier for Copper Interconnect Technology, dissertation, August 2005; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4882/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .