Journal of Applied Physics

Defect and grain boundary scattering in tungsten: A combined theoretical and experimental study

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Several major electron scattering mechanisms in tungsten (W) are evaluated using a combination of first-principles density functional theory, a Non-Equilibrium Green's Function formalism, and thin film Kelvin 4-point sheet resistance measurements. The impact of grain boundary scattering is found to be roughly an order of magnitude larger than the impact of defect scattering. Ab initio simulations predict average grain boundary reflection coefficients for a number of twin grain boundaries to lie in the range r = 0.47 to r = 0.62, while experimental data can be fit to the empirical Mayadas-Schatzkes model with a comparable but slightly larger value of r = 0.69. The experimental and simulation data for grain boundary resistivity as a function of grain size show excellent agreement. These results provide crucial insights for understanding the impact of scaling of W-based contacts between active devices and back-end-of-line interconnects in next-generation semiconductor technology.