Engineering kinetic barriers in copper metallization

Huang, Hanchen; Wei, H. L.; Woo, C. H.; Zhang, X. X.
December 2002
Applied Physics Letters;12/2/2002, Vol. 81 Issue 23, p4359
Academic Journal
In metallization processes of integrated circuits, it is desirable to deposit the metal lines (aluminum or copper) fast and at low temperatures. However, the lines (films) usually consist of undesirable columns and voids, because of the absence of sufficient diffusion—a direct result of large kinetic barriers. Following the proposal and realization of the three-dimensional Ehrlich-Schwoebel (3D ES) barrier, we present here a method to engineer this kinetic barrier so as to improve quality of deposited copper films. We deposit copper films by magnetron sputtering, characterize the film structure and texture by using the scanning electron microscope and the x-ray diffraction, respectively. Taking indium as surfactant during copper deposition, we have achieved much better density and bottom coverage of copper filled trenches. The characterizations show that the improvement is the result of the 3D ES barrier reduction caused by indium addition. Engineering the 3D ES barrier therefore leads to improved film quality.


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