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A study of ruthenium ultrathin film nucleation on pretreated SiO2 and Hf–silicate dielectric surfaces

  • Filippos Papadatos (a1), Steven Consiglio (a1), Spyridon Skordas (a1), Eric T. Eisenbraun (a1) and Alain E. Kaloyeros (a1)...


This study explored the effects of substrate surface pretreatments on the nucleation and growth of metal–organic chemical vapor deposited ruthenium. In situ plasma (dry), featuring O2, Ar, and H2/Ar chemistries, and ex situ (wet) treatments, consisting of a standard RCA bath, were examined in the nucleation and growth of up to 50-nm-thick metallic Ru films on SiO2 and Hf–silicate surfaces. The resulting surface morphology, grain size, and roughness of the metallic films were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), while Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) was used for compositional measurements. It was determined that an in situ plasma treatment using a H2/Ar yielded metallic Ru films with the highest nucleation density, smallest grain size, and lowest resistivity. Film buckling was also observed for the Ru films deposited on H2/Ar pretreated surfaces. The behavior was attributed to the presence of compressive strain. The films deposited on RCA-cleaned and Ar plasma treated surfaces exhibited very similar physical and electrical characteristics to the films grown on untreated substrates. Alternatively, the use of O2 plasma surface treatment adversely affected Ru nucleation on the SiO2 surface. Relevant mechanisms for Ru nucleation and growth on SiO2 and Hf–silicate nontreated surfaces are discussed in the context of the various predeposition dry and wet treatments.


Corresponding author

a)Present address: IBM Microelectronics, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533.


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A study of ruthenium ultrathin film nucleation on pretreated SiO2 and Hf–silicate dielectric surfaces

  • Filippos Papadatos (a1), Steven Consiglio (a1), Spyridon Skordas (a1), Eric T. Eisenbraun (a1) and Alain E. Kaloyeros (a1)...


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