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Conformal Electroless Copper and Nickel Deposition on Mems Structures

  • Hercules P. Neves (a1), Thomas D. Kudrle (a1), Jia-Ming Chen (a1), Scott G. Adams (a2), Michel Maharbiz (a3), Sergey Lopatin (a4) and N. C. MacDonald (a1)...


We propose electroless metallization as a method for conformal metal deposition microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The intrinsically conformal nature of electroless deposition makes it ideal for coating high aspect ratio (greater than 50:1) structures frequently fabricated with micromachining techniques We take advantage of the selective nature of the deposition to obtain self-aligned electrical isolation. We minimize the metal film roughness for potential applications in RF and optics. Given the specific MEMS metallization requirements, we determined the ideal concentrations of additives and surfactants in order to provide good electrical isolation, low roughness and high film reliability. Our depositions were done using seed layers as well as through direct chemical activation of the silicon surface. Characteristics such as resistivity [ 1 ], morphology [ 1 ], microstructure [ 2 ], and electrochemical behavior [ 3 ] have already been reported in the literature; our paper is focused on the specific requirements for MEMS applications.



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[1] Lopatin, S., Shacham, Y., Dubin, V., Vasudev, P. K., Kim, Y., Smy, T., “Characterization of electroless Cu, Co, Ni and their alloys for ULSI metallization,” MRS Conf. Proc. ULSI XIII, p. 437, (1998).
[2] Nucci, J., Neves, H., Shacham, Y., Eisenbraun, E., Zheng, B., Kaloyeros, A., “In-situ analysis of microstructure in thermally treated thin copper films”, Proceedings of the (1993) MRS Spring Meeting.
[3] Paunovic, M.. “Potentiostatic high overpotential studies of copper deposition from electroless copper solutions,” J. Electrochem. Soc., vol.132., no. 5, p. 1155, May (1985).
[4] Brenner, A., “History of the dectroless plating process,” Symp. Electroless Nickel Plating, ASTM Special Technical Publication no. 265, p. 1, (1959).
[5] Ohno, I., Wakabayashi, O., Haruyama, S., “Anodic oxidation of reductants in electroless plating, J. Electrochem. Soc., vol.132, no. 10, p. 2323, October (1985).
[6] Mak, C. Y., “Electroless copper deposition on metals and metal silicides,” MRS Bulletin, p. 55, August (1994).
[7] Mallory, G. O., Hajdu, J. B., Electroless Plating, AESF, Orlando, (1990).
[8] Morishita, H., Kawamoto, M., Wajima, M., Murakami, K., “Electroless copper solution,” U.S. Pat. 4,099,974, July (1978).
[9] MacDonald, N. C., “SCREAM microelectromechanical systems,” Microelectronic Engineering, vol.32, p. 49, (1996).
[10] Laermer, F., Schilp, A., “Method for anisotropically etching silicon, ” U. S. Pat. 5,501,893, March (1996)
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  • EISSN: 1946-4274
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