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Title: Dielectric reliability of copper/low-k interconnects
Keywords: Reliability, Low-k, Buried Capping Layer, BCL, TDDB, in-situ FTIRS
Issue Date: 7-Mar-2006
Citation: YIANG KOK YONG (2006-03-07). Dielectric reliability of copper/low-k interconnects. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The driving force of technology continues to demand smaller feature sizes, larger number of metal layers and lower effective dielectric contants (k-values) in Cu interconnect systems. However, the implementation of a complex, manufacturing-worthy Cu/low-k interconnect system is non-trivial. This is largely due to the plethora of reliability issues which are both mechanical and electrical in nature. This work focuses on the field-related reliability of Cu/low-k interconnects. It is demonstrated that electrical reliability can be improved tremendously by the introduction of a thin, remnant hardmask (referred to as the buried capping layer or BCL). The BCL is able to reduce the intra-metal leakage currents, improve the breakdown strength and act as a physical barrier against the photoresist strip (PRS) and chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) chemistries, thereby preventing traps generation in the inter-metal dielectric (IMD). A sufficiently thin BCL is also able to extend the time-dependent dielectric breakdown (TDDB) lifetime when extrapolated to operating conditions. In addition, a new technique, in situ fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIRS), is developed to provide molecular evidence for the field-induced dielectric breakdown phenomenon and hence the lower breakdown strength of low-k dielectrics, as compared to conventional silicon oxide.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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