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New Methodologies for Characterization of Low Dielectric Constant Thin Films

  • E. Todd Ryan (a1), Taiheui Cho (a1), Irfan Malik (a1), Jie-Hua Zhao (a1), J.K. Lee (a1) and Paul S. Ho (a1)...


New methodologies are being developed in our laboratory that allow measurements of the Young's modulus (E) and thermal expansion coefficient (TEC) for materials that cannot be prepared as free standing films. The first employs a bending beam measurement of stress versus temperature. We measure the thermal stress of a given film on two substrates, Si and GaAs. The use of two substrates allows the determination of both E and TEC. A TEOS film is used to demonstrate the technique. Another technique is a variation of the stress-strain measurement of E. The brittle material of interest is coated onto a polymer substrate, and the composite film is elongated to obtain the stress-strain curve of the composite film. Subtraction of the polymer substrate contribution to this curve yields the stress-strain behavior of the brittle film and allows calculation of E.

The in-plane dielectric constants of potential interlayer dielectrics (ILD) are determined from the interline capacitance between metal lines passivated with the material. We have developed a finite difference simulation to account for the fringe capacitance, and it allows the extraction of the in-plane dielectric constant from the measured capacitance. The method was used to measure the anisotropies in two polymer ILDs. A flexible chain polymer showed the same anisotropy in both a blanket film and on patterned lines, but a rigid rod-like polymer was found to be much less anisotropic on the patterned lines relative to the blanket film. This result indicates that the molecular orientation of the film is different on the patterned lines.



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