Damage to and Time-dependent Breakdown of Low-k Dielectric Materials from Plasma Exposure

  • Authors:
    J. Leon Shohet (U of Wisconsin/Madison)
    Publication ID:
    Publication Type:
    Received Date:
    Last Edit Date:
    2359.001 (University of Wisconsin/Madison)
    60 minutes
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Damage is a critical issue because during plasma processing, charged particles and photons with energies up to the extreme ultraviolet can strike dielectrics or create ions or free radicals in the processing gas. This results in various kinds of damage, including charge buildup, formation of additional defects, chemical restructuring, and mechanical properties degradation in low-k dielectric materials. These damage effects are likely to result in shorter time-to-breakdown within microelectronic devices. However, without determining the relationship between TDDB and damage effects, it is difficult to improve the lifetime of interconnects so as to increase device reliability.

We have developed techniques by which we can relate damage to TDDB degradation. The damage produced by plasma exposure e.g., dielectric electrical properties, i.e. leakage, changes in chemical properties, defect-state concentration, and mechanical properties. These can be linked to TDDB and a quantitative standard can be developed to slow/mitigate the damage.

Key results include damage to and TDDB breakdown of low-k dielectric materials, Schottky-Barrier measurements in low-k dielectrics, nonthermal UV/VUV curing, cesium implantation of low-k dielectrics, X-ray reflectivity of low-k dielectrics, and free-radical detection through free-standing films.

Past Events

  Event Summary
7 March 2017
Damage to and Time-dependent Breakdown of Low-k Dielectric Materials from Plasma Exposure
Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 1 p.m.–2 p.m. ET
Durham, NC, United States


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