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Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Electroplated Cu Thin Films

  • A.A. Volinsky (a1), J. Vella (a1), I.S. Adhihetty (a1), V. Sarihan (a1), L. Mercado (a1), B.H. Yeung (a1) and W.W. Gerberich (a2)...


Copper films of different thicknesses of 0.2, 0.5, 1 and 2 microns were electroplated on top of the adhesion-promoting barrier layers on <100> single crystal silicon wafers. Controlled Cu grain growth was achieved by annealing films in vacuum.

The Cu film microstructure was characterized using Atomic Force Microscopy and Focused Ion Beam Microscopy. Elastic modulus of 110 to 130 GPa and hardness of 1 to 1.6 GPa were measured using the continuous stiffness option (CSM) of the Nanoindenter XP. Thicker films appeared to be softer in terms of the lower modulus and hardness, exhibiting a classical Hall-Petch relationship between the yield stress and grain size. Lower elastic modulus of thicker films is due to the higher porosity and partially due to the surface roughness. Comparison between the mechanical properties of films on the substrates obtained by nanoindentation and tensile tests of the freestanding Cu films is made.



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