Orientation Control Technology Using PVD for Al/TiN/Ti Layers in Al Interconnect Fabrication

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1 Orientation Control Technology Using PVD for Al/TiN/Ti Layers in Al Interconnect Fabrication Se-Ju Lim*, Johji Hiroishi* and Yoshiyuki Kadokura* Interconnect materials for advanced memory devices are actively shifting from aluminum (Al) to copper (Cu) accompanying recent trends toward higher integration and higher functionality in silicon devices. Due to low resistivity and excellent deposition and etching properties, conventionally used Al alloys are still widely used for the interconnect materials in many electronic devices. With the progress in the device generation, there is increasing demand for Al alloy interconnects with narrower line width, higher current density and further complex interconnect structure, increasing the importance of improving the reliability of Al alloy interconnects. Typical Examples of Al Interconnect Fabrication Technologies (a) Al embedding process, (b)slab Al process Institute for Semiconductor Technologies, ULVAC, Inc. There are two major types of Al interconnect fabrication: one is the Al embedding technology that can create Via-Plug and a metal line with Al alloys at the same time (shown in Figure 1(a)), and the other is the slab Al technology that creates Via-Plug with W and a metal line with Al. The Al embedding process is often used, if allowed by the design rules, because it requires a relatively small number of processes and can reduce manufacturing cost. However, both types of processes have a tendency toward higher temperatures. To ensure high yield and quality of electronic devices using Al alloy interconnects created in these ways, it is imperative that the flatness, thermal stability and electromigration (EM) resistance of Al alloy interconnects be improved. Improvement of flatness of Al alloy interconnects requires technologies to optimize process conditions that prevent grain collapse, grain boundary grooving, microvoids and other defects 1) from occurring in polycrystalline Al alloy layers. These surface imperfections degrade surface morphology and cause disconnection or etching residues during photolithography and etch processes, which are directly linked to reduced yield and reliability of devices. The EM resistance of Al alloy interconnect greatly depends on grain size and crystal orientation of the Al layer. Improvement of EM resistance requires control technologies for microstructure and texture of Al layer. 2, 3) It is well known that both flatness and EM resistance can be ensured if strong Al(111) texture is achieved. 4) The inerplanar spacing of Ti(002) and TiN(111) are Å and Å respectively. Al(111) has a inerplanar spacing of Å, which is close to that of Ti(002) and TiN(111). Just like the epitaxial growth mechanism, an Al layer can grow with a strong Al(111) texture along the crystal orientation in an under layer. 5, 6) Therefore, the crystal orientation control for under layers is a very important technology for Al alloy interconnects. 11

2 Figure 2 shows the dependence of Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity on deposition temperature with 25-nm Ti films. Figure 2(a) shows the 25-nm Ti film deposited by using the long throw sputtering (LTS) method with T/S = 170 mm, and Figure 2(b) shows the 25-nm Ti film deposited by using the conventional sputtering method with T/S = 90 mm. In Figure 2(a), the Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity for the LTS 25-nm Ti film is maximized at deposition temperatures of 200 to 250. At temperatures of 300 and higher, the Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity sharply drops and the Ti(101) diffraction peak intensity increases gradually. These results indicate that the orientation of Ti films is highly sensitive to the deposition temperature. In contrast, Figure 2(b) shows no significant change in the Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity of the conventional sputtered 25-nm Ti films in relation to the deposition temperature. The Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity is lower than one twentieth of that of the long throw sputtered 25-nm Ti films. Figure 3 shows the schematic diagrams of the conventional sputtering method and the LTS method used for these verification experiments. The LTS method is a lowpressure sputtering method, in which the sputtered Ti particles scatter only a few times and enter perpendicularly to self-bias near substrates at a high rate while keeping high energy. This is considered to facilitate growth in Dependence of the Ti(002) Diffraction Peak Intensity on the Deposition Temperature (a) LTS Ti 25nm, (b) Conventional Ti 25nm the [002] crystal orientation. The reason why the increase in the Ti(101) diffraction peak intensity is reduced is probably that as the deposition temperature increases, Schematic Diagrams of the Conventional Sputtering Method and the Long Throw Sputtering Method 12

3 the generated thermal stress contributes to the growth of grains with the [101] crystal orientation. On the other hand, the conventional sputtering method uses a higher process pressure for deposition than that of the LTS method. The sputtered Ti particles scatter many times and lose incident energy before reaching substrates. This may relatively reduce the Ti(002) orientation. A film deposited with low incident energy Ti particles is thought to have small grains and low film density. Therefore, even during high-temperature deposition, the supplied thermal energy is mainly consumed for diffusion for grain growth, making grains harder to grow with a preferential orientation. Figure 4 shows the dependence of TiN(111) diffraction peak intensity on deposition temperature with LTS TiN single films and TiN/Ti layered films. Figure 4(a) shows that the TiN(200) diffraction peak intensity with LTS 120-nm TiN single films increased as the deposition temperature increased, but no diffraction peak was observed for TiN(111). It is thought that polycrystalline TiN films easily grew in the [200] crystal orientation and the TiN(200) peak intensity increased as grains grew. Figure 4(b) shows that the 120-nm TiN/25-nm Ti layered films had results similar to the changes in the Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity at the deposition temperatures shown in Figure 2(a). The Ti(002) orientation in the Ti layer below the TiN film is maximized at a deposition temperature of 250. Accordingly, the TiN film growing along the Ti(002) crystal orientation preferentially has the TiN(111) crystal orientation. Figure 5 shows behaviors of Al(111) diffraction peak intensity and its full width at half maximum (FWHM) for each type of deposition. Only the Al film on the under layer deposited using the LTS method has the maximum Al(111) diffraction peak intensity and the minimum FWHM. We confirmed that the interplanar spacing of Ti(002) and TiN(111) is close to that of Al(111), and, if there is a strong texture of Ti(002) or TiN(111) in the under layer of the Al film, the Al film deposited on it preferentially grows with the Al(111) crystal orientation. This result indicates that it is advantageous to deposit under layers using the LTS method in order to obtain a strong Al(111) texture. Figure 6 shows changes in reflectivity depending on the Al film deposition temperature and the results of surface SEM observation. Figure 6(a) shows the reflectivity of the Dependence of the TiN(111) Diffraction Peak Intensity on the Deposition Temperature (a) LTS 120-nm TiN single film (b) LTS 120-nm TiN/25-nm Ti layered film Al film measured at a wavelength of 480 nm, which is the relative reflectivity to silicon. The Al film deposited directly on a silicon oxide film without any under layer shows a sudden drop of relative reflectivity from 228% to 160% when the deposition temper- Behaviors of the Al(111) Diffraction Peak Intensity and FWHM for Each Type of Deposition 13

4 ature is increased from 100 to 450. This is probably because the Al film deposited at a high temperature has wider clearance between grains, as shown in the results of surface SEM observation in Figure 6(b), it tends to form a valley around the grain boundary, and as a result, the surface of the Al film becomes rough. In Al films with such a morphology, a part of the photoresist reacts or remains at the grain boundary and it is likely to become etching residue. This is the primary cause of reduced device yield. The obtained results indicate that the Al film deposited on the LTS 120-nm TiN/25-nm Ti under layer does not greatly depend on the deposition temperature, but keeps a relative reflectivity of 220% or higher. LTS 120-nm TiN/25-nm Ti layered film has a strong texture of Ti(002) and TiN(111). Even if an Al film is deposited on the film at a high temperature, the Al(111) texture does not deteriorate much, but the Al film can grow into a flat film as shown in the SEM bird view of Figure 6(c), while keeping a high relative reflectivity. Dependence of the Surface Morphology on the Deposition Temperature with 440-nm Hot-Al Films (Al deposition temperature = 450 ) (a) Behavior of the Al film reflectivity depending on the deposition temperature (b) SEM bird view of an Al film on an oxide film (c) SEM bird view of an Al film on a LTS-TiN/Ti film Figure 7 shows the Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity and the hydrogen partial pressure in a chamber measured in real time, versus the number of wafers processed in continuous processing of LTS 25-nm Ti. This indicates that even in the optimum conditions that provide the maximum Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity, the continuous deposition of Ti single films gradually decreases the Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity and degrades reproducibility of the Ti(002) orientation intensity as shown in Figure 7(a). Real-time observation of changes in the residual gas inside the chamber with the progress in Ti deposition revealed that the decrease in the Ti(002) diffraction peak agrees well with changes in the hydrogen or water partial pressure in the deposition chamber. The deposition chamber is equipped with an internal shield to prevent electric discharge leakage and deposition dust. As Ti deposition continues, a Ti film deposits not only on substrates, but also on the shield surface. Ti is highly active and well known as a material that adsorbs much gas, especially water vapor, remaining in a chamber. This is called the Ti gettering effect. As the Ti surface area increases in the chamber, the Ti gettering effect becomes more active, decreasing the hydrogen or water partial pressure. We assume that hydrogen or water remaining in the chamber turns into ionized and excited particles when plasma occurs, and that the particles make the energy state on the substrate surface effective for nucleus growth in the Ti(002) crystal orientation. When hydrogen-added Ar process gas was used for Ti deposition, as shown in Figure 7(b), the hydrogen partial pressure inside the 14

5 Changes in the Ti(002) Diffraction Peak Intensity and the Hydrogen Partial Pressure in the Chamber during LTS 25-nm Ti Continuous Processing (a) Deposition using pure Ar process gas (b) Deposition using hydrogen-added Ar process gas Correlation between the Hydrogen Partial Pressure during Deposition and the Ti(002) Peak Intensity (a) Deposition using the conventional sputtering method (b) Deposition using the long throw sputtering method chamber was kept constant and brought about the stable Ti(002) orientation intensity without decreasing in the Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity as shown in Figure 7(a). We found that the same result was produced by adding other types of gas that can supply hydrogen into the chamber, for example, water-added Ar process gas. We also analyzed the residual gas during Ti deposition using water-added Ar process gas and confirmed that the partial pressure of water periodically supplied during deposition was kept constant while the hydrogen partial pressure decreased. This revealed that, as with the case of introducing hydrogen-added Ar process gas, water molecules are ionized in the plasma and the generated excited hydrogen particles are consumed in the course of the Ti deposition. Figure 8 shows the correlation between the hydrogen partial pressure during deposition and the Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity. Regardless of the sputtering method used, the Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity increased proportionally to the hydrogen partial pressure during deposition. From these results, we were able to obtain the maximum Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity with high degrees of reproducibility and stability by keeping the hydrogen partial pressure at 4.50E-4Pa or higher during deposition. Worthy of particular note when using the conventional sputtering method, deposition using hydrogen-added Ar process gas produced a Ti(002) diffraction peak intensity more than 20 times higher than that in deposition using pure Ar process gas as shown in Figure 2(b). Conventional Al interconnects processes required the use of the LTS method to improve the Al(111) orientation, even when it is unnecessary to ensure coverage. The LTS deposition method has long T/S, which decreases the deposition rate and thereby decreases productivity. 15

6 From these results, we were able to establish the process technology that provides a sufficient Al(111) orientation with any sputtering method; accomplished by using hydrogen-added Ar process gas. 1) N. Kristensen, F. Ericson, and J. Schweitz, J. Appl. Phys. 69, 2097 (1991). 2) S. Vaidya and A. K. Sinha, Thin Solid Films 75, 253 (1981). 3) T. Yoshida, S. Hashimoto, H. Hosokawa, T. Ohwaki, Y. Mitsushima, and Y. Taga, J. Appl. Phys. 81(10), 7030 (1997). 4) S.D. Kim, J.K. Rhee, I.S. Hwang, H.M. Park, and H.C. Park, Thin Solid Films 401, 273 (2001). 5) M. Sekiguchi, K. Sawada, M. Fukumoto, and T. Kouzaki, J. Vac. Sci. Technol., B12, 2992 (1994). 6) H. Onoda, M. Kageyama, and K. Hashimoto, J. Appl. Phys., 77, 885 (1995). 16

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