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Processing and Characterization of Silica Xerogel Films for Low-K Dielectric Applications

  • Anurag Jain (a1), Svetlana Rogojevic (a1), Satya V. Nitta (a1), Venumadhav Pisupatti (a1), William N. Gill (a1), Peter C. Wayner (a1), Joel L. Plawsky (a1), T. E. F. M. Standaert (a2) and G. S. Oehrlein (a2)...


Surface modified silica xerogel films of high porosity (60 - 90 %) and uniform thickness (0.4–2 μm) were fabricated at ambient pressure on silicon and silicon dioxide. The rheological properties that govern film uniformity were determined. A relation between the final dried film thickness and spin speed was developed. The porosity and thickness of the films could be controlled independently. The same porosity could be obtained over a wide range of aging time and temperature combinations. Fracture toughness was measured using the edge-lift-off technique. The best values were comparable to concrete. Surface modification was affected by treating the film with trimethylcholorosilane (TMCS) and other modifiers. Moisture adsorption was studied at 100% RH using a quartz crystal microbalance technique. Depending upon the degree and kind of surface treatment, films absorbed as much as 32% or as little as 2% of their weight in water. Dielectric constants (K), losses and breakdown strengths were comparable to values for calcined, bulk aerogels. Thin (≤ 500 Å) films of Copper (Cu) and Tantalum (Ta) were deposited on xerogel films and subjected to thermal annealing. No diffusion was observed within the limits of RBS. High-density plasma etching showed that the films etch an order of magnitude faster than conventional SiO2 films.



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