Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

Spin-dependent electron scattering in cobalt interconnects

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We use state-of-the-art ab initio simulation methods to study fundamental electron scattering mechanisms in cobalt conductors for applications in advanced interconnect technology. In particular, we consider electron scattering at intrinsic defect sites, twin grain boundaries, and at the Co/metal/Co interfaces present in vertical interconnects. Effective resistivity values and reflection coefficients are calculated in each case. The explicit treatment of electron spin results in distinct majority and minority spin behavior, with majority spin states exhibiting less scattering than minority states. Our results indicate that grain boundary scattering dominates over scattering at intrinsic point defect sites. Vertical resistance calculations indicate that Co vias can have substantially lower resistance than corresponding Cu vias at comparable dimensions. These results help build a fundamental understanding of electron scattering mechanisms in non-Cu conductors for advanced interconnect applications.