Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 March 2011
An investigation of the microstructural evolution of Al(Cu) thin films deposited on a variety of interlevel dielectric (ILD) layers was performed. A combination of X-ray texture measurements and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was employed to link the texture behavior of the as-deposited Al(Cu) films at different thicknesses to the observed morphological development within the films. Three regimes of texture were revealed, corresponding to (1): Al(Cu) island growth and individual island coalescence, (2): fully coalesced film and the onset of grain growth and (3): extensive grain growth. The first and last of these regimes exhibited offset (111) texture, in which the maximum diffracted intensity from Al (111) is offset from the substrate normal. However, the position of maximum offset texture differed between the first and third stages of growth, indicating that two different mechanisms were responsible. The offset (111) texture observed in the third regime of Al(Cu) film microstructure was due to the faceting of grain surfaces. The time required for the films to reach these three stages depended on the effective diffusivity of the Al atoms on the ILD surfaces, which differed in chemistry and topography.
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