Noble metals like platinum or irdium are used as electrode materials in DRAM or FRAM devices. Their etch process is a challenge as conventional, sputter driven etch processes either result in redeposition problems (fences) or in a severe sloping (loss of dimension control) and are not acceptable for high density integration architectures. The high temperature etch regime offers a solution by increasing the chemical etch component and thus the volatility of the etch products.
As previously reported, the platinum etch rate increases exponentially for a chlorine etch process with increasing wafer temperature. In this study we investigate the particular role of carbon monoxide in a Cl2/CO etch process. We find that carbon monoxide additions to a chlorine process boost the chemical component of the platinum etch rate very significantly, exceeding the effects in the chlorine only process regime by far. Additionally we compare these results with a Cl2/O2 and a Cl2/CO2 process chemistry, which are not found to be particularly beneficial.
To better understand the etch process we use an energy dispersive quadrupole mass spectrometer for in situ monitoring, attached to the chamber at two different locations. We are able to position the probe orifice at the place of the wafer electrode, to record ion energy and ion mass spectra of species impinging on the wafer plane. A second off axis position allows for etch product monitoring.