Copper interconnect metallizations in next generation integrated circuits will require thin diffusion barrier layers (< 20 nm) between the Cu and low-k dielectric which may also function as seed layers for subsequent material depositions. One possible structure entails a multicomponent diffusion barrier with a lower resistivity component, such as W on WNx. In this study, sputtered WNx/W bilayer thin films were investigated as diffusion barriers between Si and Cu. The total thickness of the WNx/W bilayer was fixed at 20 nm while the WNx thickness was varied from 0 to 20 nm. After deposition of the barrier films, a 100 nm thick Cu film was sputtered over the top of the ct-W and amorphous WNx bilayer. The as-deposited WNx/W film stress was found to be strongly dependent on the relative amount of WNx and W present and the addition of a Cu overlayer was found to mitigate the stress levels. The WNx/W barriers remained stable after 650°C anneals and exhibited phase transformations to W 2N. Microstructural characterization using transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction and chemical analysis by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of the films were used to identify the as deposited and transformed phases. © 2001 Materials Research Society.


Materials Science and Engineering

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2024 Springer, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2001

Included in

Metallurgy Commons