Characterization of Reactively Sputtered Ti-Si-N Films


It has become widely accepted that aluminum will be replaced by copper in future silicon integrated circuit devices because copper has a lower resistivity and higher resistance to electromigration than aluminum. However, because copper and silicon are highly reactive to each other, a diffusion barrier is necessary between them. among the many barrier materials which have been investigated, ternary amorphous metallic materials such as Ta-Si-N and Ti-Si-N have shown superior performance in limiting the diffusion of Cu metallization. Meanwhile, because of the suppression of dislocation activity in Ti-Si-N films, those films also have the potential to be effect in applications requiring a hard coating. Presented in this study are Ti-Si-N films with thickness from 100nm to 200nm that were ractively deposited by R.F. magnetron sputtering using various N 2/(Ar+N 2) partial pressure ratios. the composition, resistivity, microstructure, microhardness, and chemical bonding state of the sputtered films were studied. the ability to do copper plating on those films has also been investigated. All Ti-Si-N films were found to be amorphous. the chemical bonding state of the films played a critical role in the resistivity, microstructure and microhardness of the films. with increasing Si 3N 4 bonding content, the film resistivity increased. an increase in the amount of Si 3N 4 bonding in the films causes an increase in the film microhardness until a maximum hardness value was attained, after which the film microhardness decreased with increasing Si 3N 4 bonding content. However, the Si 3N 4 bonding content in the films could be controlled by adjusting N 2 partial pressure in the sputtering gas. Copyright © 2006 ASM International®.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Diffusion barrier; RF sputtering; Ti-Si-N; XPS

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Article - Conference proceedings

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Publication Date

02 May 2006

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