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Process-Oriented Stress Modeling and Stress Evolution During Cu/Low-K BEOL Processing

  • Charlie Jun Zhai (a1), Paul R. Besser (a1) and Frank Feustel (a1)

Abstract

The damascene fabrication method and the introduction of low-K dielectrics present a host of reliability challenges to Cu interconnects and fundamentally change the mechanical stress state of Cu lines. In order to capture the effect of individual process steps on the stress evolution in the BEoL (Back End of Line), a process-oriented finite element modeling (FEM) approach was developed. In this model, the complete stress history at any step of BEoL can be simulated as a dual damascene Cu structure is fabricated. The inputs to the model include the temperature profile during each process step and materials constants. The modeling results are verified in two ways: through wafer-curvature measurement during multiple film deposition processes and with X-Ray diffraction to measure the mechanical stress state of the Cu interconnect lines fabricated using 0.13um CMOS technology. The Cu line stress evolution is simulated during the process of multi-step processing for a dual damascene Cu/low-K structure. It is shown that the in-plane stress of Cu lines is nearly independent of subsequent processes, while the out-of-plane stress increases considerably with the subsequent process steps.

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Process-Oriented Stress Modeling and Stress Evolution During Cu/Low-K BEOL Processing

  • Charlie Jun Zhai (a1), Paul R. Besser (a1) and Frank Feustel (a1)

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