As microelectronic device dimensions continue to shrink, system performance is becoming limited by the interconnect delay. A major component of this delay arises from intra-level capacitance. The dielectric must therefore have a low dielectric constant in order to minimize the capacitance between the lines and maximize performance at reduced dimensions. Silicon oxycarbides with dielectric constant of 2.7-3.0 are already being used in advanced production processes. In order to reduce the dielectric constant further, porosity has to be introduced into the film. Initial research, performed on spin-on dielectrics, already revealed many integration issues related to the porosity of these materials. In order to achieve production-worthy processes, chemical vapour deposition is the preferred way to fabricate these films.
In this project, plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) is used to develop processes for ultra-low K deposition. This research project makes use of the most advanced production-compatible equipment on 300mm Si wafers. Through selection of the optimum precursors and process conditions, suitable films will be developed. The project will investigate the impact of the plasma parameters on film properties, such as uniformity, composition, dielectric constant, pore size and pore distribution, elastic modulus and strength. The films will be integrated in IMEC's back-end of line processes to investigate etch behaviour, CMP compatibility and reliability properties. Specific plasma characterization of the deposition and clean recipes will be performed to optimise both.
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