Publication
AIP Advances
Paper

Corrosion in low dielectric constant Si-O based thin films: Buffer concentration effects

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Abstract

Organosilicate glass (OSG) is often used as an interlayer dielectric (ILD) in high performance integrated circuits. OSG is a brittle material and prone to stress-corrosion cracking reminiscent of that observed in bulk glasses. Of particular concern are chemical-mechanical planarization techniques and wet cleans involving solvents commonly encountered in microelectronics fabrication where the organosilicate film is exposed to aqueous environments. Previous work has focused on the effect of pH, surfactant, and peroxide concentration on the subcritical crack growth of these films. However, little or no attention has focused on the effect of the conjugate acid/base concentration in a buffer. Accordingly, this work examines the "strength" of the buffer solution in both acidic and basic environments. The concentration of the buffer components is varied keeping the ratio of acid/base and therefore pH constant. In addition, the pH was varied by altering the acid/base ratio to ascertain any additional effect of pH. Corrosion tests were conducted with double-cantilever beam fracture mechanics specimens and fracture paths were verified with ATR-FTIR. Shifts in the threshold fracture energy, the lowest energy required for bond rupture in the given environment, GTH, were found to shift to lower values as the concentration of the base in the buffer increased. This effect was found to be much larger than the effect of the hydroxide ion concentration in unbuffered solutions. The results are rationalized in terms of the salient chemical bond breaking process occurring at the crack tip and modeled in terms of the chemical potential of the reactive species. © 2014 Author(s).

Date

13 May 2014

Publication

AIP Advances

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