MRS Spring Meeting 2005
Conference paper

Thermal oxidation of Cu interconnects capped with CoWP

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The thermal oxidation of Cu interconnects, at 350°C in air, has been studied as a function of thickness of a CoWP capping layer. For thin CoWP layers (25 nm), a thick oxide layer (200 nm) is formed which is mainly composed of Cu2O. For thick CoWP layers (50 nm), the oxide layer is much thinner (36 nm) and is mainly composed of CoO. For both CoWP thicknesses, depletion of the underlying Cu is often observed after oxidation and whisker growth is often observed on the surface. The results are consistent with an oxidation mechanism where metal is the dominant diffusing species. For thin CoWP layers, Cu diffuses more quickly to the surface than Co, and therefore mainly Cu oxides are formed. For thick CoWP layers, the Cu diffusion to the surface is greatly reduced, and as a result, mainly Co oxides are formed. These results indicate that CoWP is not a good barrier for thermal oxidation, so high temperature exposure to oxidizing ambients must be minimized during processing of integrated circuits where CoWP is used instead of a dielectric barrier. © 2005 Materials Research Society.