Study of PECVD Films Containing Flourine and Carbon and Diamond Like Carbon Films for Ultra Low Dielectric Constant Interlayer Dielectric Applications
Sundaram, Nandini Ganapathy
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Lowering the capacitance of Back-end-of-line (BEOL) structures by decreasing the dielectric permittivity of the interlayer dielectric material in integrated circuits (ICs) lowers device delay times, power consumption and parasitic capacitance. a:C-F films that are thermally stable at 400C were deposited using tetrafluorocarbon and disilane (5% by volume in Helium) as precursors. The bulk dielectric constant (k) of the film was optimized from 2.0 / 2.2 to 1.8 / 1.91 as-deposited and after heat treatment. Films, with highly promising k-values but discarded for failing to meet shrinkage rate requirements were salvaged by utilizing a novel extended heat treatment scheme. Film properties including chemical bond structure, F/C ratio, refractive index, surface planarity, contact angle, dielectric constant, flatband voltage shift, breakdown field potential and optical energy gap were evaluated by varying process pressure, power, substrate temperature and flow rate ratio (FRR) of processing gases. Both XPS and FTIR results ix confirmed that the stoichiometry of the ultra-low k (ULK) film is close to that of CF2 with no oxygen. C-V characteristics indicated the presence of negative charges that are either interface trapped charges or bulk charges. Average breakdown field strength was in the range of 2-8 MV/cm while optical energy gap varied between 2.2 eV and 3.4 eV. Irradiation or plasma damage significantly impacts the ability to integrate the film in VSLI circuits. The film was evaluated after exposure to oxygen plasma and HMDS vapors and no change in the FTIR spectra or refractive index was observed. Film is resistant to attack by developers CD 26 and KOH. While the film dissolves in UVN-30 negative resist, it is impermeable to PGDMA. A 12% increase in dielectric constant and a decrease in contact angle from 65 to 47 was observed post e-beam exposure. The modified Gaseous Electronics Conference (mGEC) reference cell was used to deposit DLC films using CH4 and Argon as precursors. Pre and post-anneal structural properties of the deposited thin film were studied using laser excitation of 633 nm in a Jobin Yvon Labram high-resolution micro-Raman spectrometer. The film was further characterized using AFM, FTIR, XRD, goniometry and electrical testing. Average film roughness as measured by AFM was less than 1 nm, the k-value was 2.5, and the contact angle with water was 42°. Lastly, layered dielectric films comprising of Diamond like Carbon (DLC) and Amorphous Fluorocarbon (a:C-F) were generated using three different stack configurations and subsequently evaluated. Seven unique process conditions generated promising stacks with k-values between 1.69 and 1.95. Of these, only one film exhibited very low shrinkage rates acceptable for semiconductor device processing. Annealed a:C-F films with DLC top coat are similar in bonding structure to as deposited FC films proving that DLC deposition significantly modified the bonding structure of the underlying annealed a:C-F film. Stacks comprised of a:C-F films with higher oxygen content, deposited using high FRRs exhibited both macro and microbuckling to a larger degree and extent. Film integrity was preserved by annealing the Fluorocarbon component or by providing a DLC base coat.