Advanced Ta-Based Diffusion Barriers for Cu Interconnects by Rene Hubner

By Rene Hubner

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Furthermore, plotting the maximum 002 β-Ta peak intensity over the tilt angle ψ shows that the β-Ta crystallites are preferentially oriented with the caxis of the unit cell perpendicular to the sample surface. Besides β-Ta Bragg reflections, the diffraction pattern in Figure 3 is characterized by additional peaks which can be assigned to polycrystalline copper. 2° points to the presence of preferentially <111>-oriented Cu grains. Besides a small amorphous fraction, a TaN diffusion barrier deposited onto blanket or thermally oxidized silicon consists mainly of nanocrystalline fcc TaN (Figure 3).

Ii) Particular atomic species leave the barrier region and diffuse into copper resulting in a lower crystallization temperature caused by slight changes of the Ta-Si-N composition. In this regard, the above-discussed Ta diffusion might contribute to an accelerated Thermal Stability of Ta-Based Diffusion Barriers … 53 crystallization. (iii) Due to the presence of the Cu/barrier interface, heterogeneous nucleation is very likely. In this case, the nucleation energy is significantly reduced compared to homogeneous nucleation [241].

All analyses started with etching away the Cu cap layer using 5 % ammonium persulfate solution. In a first experiment, the barrier layer and SiO2 were dissolved together by 10 % hydrofluoric acid and analyzed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) using an AAS6 vario tool (Analytik Jena). To determine the Cu content only within the SiO2 film, the barrier layer was removed by etching with 48 % HBF4 solution. Afterwards, the dielectric was dissolved in 10 % hydrofluoric acid and analyzed by GF-AAS.

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