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A gradual change in thermal oxide surface state from hydrophilic to
hydrophobic was observed with time -delay in a clean room environment.
Surface quality and reflectivity for the Al/Ti metal layers showed a strong
dependency on the oxide surface state. From the hydrophilic oxide substrate,
a lower (002) Ti preferred orientation was obtained than from hydrophobic
ones. This resulted in a degraded (111) Al preferred orientation and rough
metal surface. The RF-etch process increased the smoothness and hydrophobic
surface property for the inter -metal dielectric (IMD) oxides, and therefore
greatly improved Al/Ti surface quality. When conventional CMOS double layer
metal interconnection process is performed, metal inter-line bridge yield
was strongly affected by the surface state of substrate oxides.
Basic mechanisms for both Ni- and Pd-metal induced lateral crystallization (MILC) are investigated. For both cases, tiny silicides were formed under the metal deposited area, and propagated toward amorphous Si films leaving crystallized Si behind at temperatures as low as 500 °C. Ni-MILC was influenced by Pd such that the lateral crystallization rate was enhanced, and the temperature for the lateral crystallization was lowered to 450 °C. Through TEM analysis and external stress experiments, it was found that the enhancement of the lateral crystallization rate was closely related to the compressive stress generated by the formation of nearby Pd2Si.
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