Enhancing Interconnect Reliability and Performance by Converting Tantalum to 2D Layered Tantalum Sulfide at Low Temperature



The interconnect half-pitch size will reach ≈20 nm in the coming sub-5 nm technology node. Meanwhile, the TaN/Ta (barrier/liner) bilayer stack has to be >4 nm to ensure acceptable liner and diffusion barrier properties. Since TaN/Ta occupy a significant portion of the interconnect cross-section and they are much more resistive than Cu, the effective conductance of an ultrascaled interconnect will be compromised by the thick bilayer. Therefore, 2D layered materials have been explored as diffusion barrier alternatives. However, many of the proposed 2D barriers are prepared at too high temperatures to be compatible with the back-end-of-line (BEOL) technology. In addition, as important as the diffusion barrier properties, the liner properties of 2D materials must be evaluated, which has not yet been pursued. Here, a 2D layered tantalum sulfide (TaSₓ) with ≈1.5 nm thickness is developed to replace the conventional TaN/Ta bilayer. The TaSx ultrathin film is industry-friendly, BEOL-compatible, and can be directly prepared on dielectrics. The results show superior barrier/liner properties of TaSₓ compared to the TaN/Ta bilayer. This single-stack material, serving as both a liner and a barrier, will enable continued scaling of interconnects beyond 5 nm node. ©2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


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Copper—Diffusion rate, Interconnects (Integrated circuit technology), Reliability, Nanotechnology, Nitrogen compounds, Optical interconnects, Sulfur compounds, Temperature, Thin films, High temperatures, Low temperatures, Tantalum compounds


NIST through award number 70NANB17H041; NSF (Grant No. CCF‐1619062); Welch Foundation (Grant No. F‐1959‐20180324)


©2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.