Currently, the IC industry is researching the integration of a variety of materials to meet the low dielectric constant requirement for improved back-end of line (BEOL) interconnect performance. One critical dimension for successful ntegration of these new materials is maintaining mechanical integrity through multilayer processes. This includes both cohesive and adhesive fracture resistance. The latter adds additional complexity in that adhesive toughness is a function of the adherend materials and the processes used to join them. Hence, many good dielectric materials may be rematurely eliminated from further research not because of inherently poor adhesion but because of the necessity to optimize processing strategies.
In this paper, we use the modified Edge Liftoff Test (m-ELT) to quantify the mechanical adhesion of multilayer blanket coatings. A specific example is used to demonstrate the utility of combining the m-ELT with surface analysis to optimize the reliability of low-K dielectric resins for use in ULSI applications. The system studied consists of a Cyclotene™ 5021(BCB) low-K material integrated with CVD aluminum for single level, damascene structures. The effects of liner layer metallurgy and surface plasma treatments are measured. Surface analysis is done on the failed parts to understand the location of the failure. In this way recommendations for process optimization can be made.