Description: Tungsten metal is used as an electrical conductor in many modern microelectronic devices. One of the primary motivations for its use is that it can be deposited in thin films by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). CVD is a process whereby a thin film is deposited on a solid substrate by the reaction of a gas-phase molecular precursor. In the case of tungsten chemical vapor deposition (W-CVD) this precursor is commonly tungsten hexafluoride (WF6) which reacts with an appropriate reductant to yield metallic tungsten. A useful characteristic of the W-CVD chemical reactions is that while they proceed rapidly on silicon or metal substrates, they are inhibited on insulating substrates, such as silicon dioxide (Si02). This selectivity may be exploited in the manufacture of microelectronic devices, resulting in the formation of horizontal contacts and vertical vias by a self-aligning process. However, reaction parameters must be rigorously controlled, and even then tungsten nuclei may form on neighboring oxide surfaces after a short incubation time. Such nuclei can easily cause a short circuit or other defect and thereby render the device inoperable. If this loss of selectivity could be controlled in the practical applications of W-CVD, thereby allowing the incorporation of this technique into production, the cost of manufacturing microchips could be lowered. This research was designed to investigate the loss of selectivity for W-CVD in an attempt to understand the processes which lead to its occurrence. The effects of passivating the oxide surface with methanol against the formation of tungsten nuclei were studied. It was found that the methanol dissociates at oxide surface defect sites and blocks such sites from becoming tungsten nucleation sites. The effect of reactant partial pressure ratio on selectivity was also studied. It was found that as the reactant partial pressures are varied there are significant changes in the ...
Date: August 1994
Creator: Cheek, Roger W. (Roger Warren)
Partner: UNT Libraries