Surface Modification and Reactions of OSG Low-k Dielectrics During Ar Plasma Treatment

  • Authors:
    Jessica M Rimsza (Univ. of North Texas), Jincheng Du (Univ. of North Texas)
    Publication ID:
    Publication Type:
    Received Date:
    Last Edit Date:
    2561.001 (University of North Texas)


Integration of low-k dielectrics in microelectronic devices is limited by the deterioration of electronic and mechanical properties of low-k films during plasma etching. Density functional theory ab initio molecular dynamic simulations were used to model the bombardment of organosilicate glass surfaces with 100eV Ar plasma. A variable time step was introduced to ensure sufficient simulation resolution to investigate bond scission mechanisms. Results indicate that CH3 abstraction through Si-CH3 bond breakage occurs in 8% of the simulations through two mechanisms, one of which is due to cascading atomic oxygen radical (AOR) development. 1-3 AORs were generated per Ar impact with energies between 2.2-42.6eV, exceeding the energy cut-off for Si-CH3 bond breakage. Charge analysis was performed on the reaction to investigate the role of charge effects on CH3 removal. The development of AORs during Ar plasma bombardment indicates the importance of secondary effects of the etching process.

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