MRS Proceedings 2002
Conference paper

Characteristics of low-k and ultralow-k PECVD deposited SiCOH films

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We have shown previously that the dielectric constants of PECVD prepared SiCOH dielectrics can be extended to ultralow-k values of k=2.0. The reduction in the dielectric constants has been achieved by adding an organic precursor to the tetramethylcyclotetrasiloxane (TMCTS) used for the preparation of the SiCOH dielectric and annealing the films to remove the thermally less-stable organic CHx fractions from the films, thereby adding porosity and reducing the density of the films. To assess the effects of the reduction of the dielectric constant on other physical properties of the material, the density and composition of the films have been determined by RBS and FRES and the porosity has been measured by PAS/PALS, SAXS and ellipsometric porosimetry in addition the films have been characterized structurally and topologically by TEM and AFM. It has been found that addition of the organic precursor reduces the Si fraction in the films, however, there is no direct correlation between dielectric constant and film composition. The dielectric constant and density decrease with increasing porosity in the films, which reaches values of 30-39%, for k values of 2.05. The pore size increases with decreasing k, however the diameter remains below 5 nm for k=2.05. This is significantly smaller than the pore size typically found in porous spin-on films and may provide an integration advantage compared to spin-on films having similar k values.