Over the last couple of years rapid thermal annealing (RTA) equipment suppliers have been aggressively developing lamp-based furnaces capable of achieving ramp-up rates on the order of hundreds of degrees per second. One of the driving forces for adopting such a strategy was the experimental demonstration of 30nm p-type junctions by employing a ramp-up rate of ≈400°C/s. It was subsequently proposed that the ultra-fast temperature ramp-up was suppressing transient enhanced diffusion (TED) of boron which results from the interaction of the implantation damage with the dopant. The capability to achieve very high temperature ramp-rates was thus embraced as an essential requirement of the next generation of RTA equipment.
In this paper, recent experimental data examining the effect of the ramp-up rate during spike-and soak-anneals on enhanced diffusion and shallow junction formation is reviewed. The advantage of increasing the ramp-up rate is found to be largest for the shallowest, 0.5-keV, B implants. At such ultra-low energies (ULE) the advantage arises from a reduction of the total thermal budget. Simulations reveal that a point of diminishing return is quickly reached when increasing the ramp-up rate since the ramp-down rate is in practice limited. At energies where TED dominates, a high ramp-up rate is only effective in minimizing diffusion if the implanted dose is sufficiently small so that the TED can be run out during the ramp-up portion of the anneal; for larger doses, a high ramp-up rate only serves to postpone the TED to the ramp-down duration of the anneal. However, even when TED is minimized at higher implant energies via high ramp-up rates, the advantage is unobservable due to the rather large as-implanted depth. It appears then that while spike anneals allow the activation of ULE-implanted dopants to be maximized while minimizing their diffusion the limitation imposed by the ramp-down rate compromises the advantage of very aggressive ramp-up rates.