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In this study, we synthesized ZnO nanowires using Au catalytic particles formed on a ZnO seed layer. We modulated the microstructure of the ZnO seed layer by changing the sputtering power to investigate how the underlying ZnO film microstructure affects the distribution of ZnO nanowires. Examining the samples after each of the three key steps of the growth process (ZnO seed layer deposition, Au catalytic particle formation, and nanowire growth) using various characterization methods such as scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and x-ray diffraction helped us illuminate the profound impacts of the grain size of the seed layer on the nanowire density.
This study examined the degradation of the device performance of InGaZnO4 (IGZO)-based thin-film transistors after annealing at high temperatures in air ambient. Using various characterization methods including scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy, we were able to disclose the details of a two-stage phase transformation that led to the device performance degradation. The Mo electrodes first succumbed to oxidation at moderate temperatures (400∼500 °C) and then the Mo oxide further reacted with IGZO to produce an In–Mo–O compound with some Ga at higher temperatures (600∼700 °C). We analyzed our results based on the thermodynamics and kinetics data available in the literature and confirmed that our findings are in agreement with the experimental results.
The microstructural evolution and interfacial reactions of fluxless-bonded, Au-20wt%Sn/Cu solder joint were investigated during reflow and aging. After reflowing at 310 °C, only one thick and irregularly shaped ζ(Cu) layer was formed at the interface. After the prolonged reflow reaction, the AuCu layer was formed between the ζ(Cu) layer and the Cu substrate. During reflowing, the Cu substrate reacted primarily with the ζ-phase in the solder matrix. The solid-state interfacial reaction was much faster at 250 °C than at 150 °C. After aging at 250 °C for 100 h, thick ζ(Cu), AuCu and AuCu3 IMC layers were formed at the interface. The formation of the AuCu3 intermetallic compound (IMC) was caused by Cu enrichment at the AuCu/Cu layer interface. After aging for 500 h, cracks were observed inside the interfacial AuCu layer. The study results clearly demonstrate the need for an alternative surface finish on Cu, to ensure the high temperature reliability of the Au-20Sn/Cu solder joint.
Joint reliability of immersion Ag with two different solders, Sn–37Pb and Sn–3.5Ag, were evaluated. We first compared the interfacial reactions of the two solder joints and also successfully revealed a connection between the interfacial reaction behavior and mechanical reliability. The Sn–Pb solder produced a Pb-rich phase along the interface between the solder and the Cu substrate during aging. In contrast, the Sn–Ag solder exhibits an off-eutectic reaction to produce the eutectic phase and Ag3Sn precipitate. The shear test results show that the Sn–Pb solder joint fractured along the interface showing brittle failure indications possibly due to the brittle Pb-rich layer. In contrast, the failure of Sn–Ag solder joint was only through the bulk solder, providing evidence that the interface is mechanically reliable. The results from this study confirm that the immersion Ag/Sn–Ag solder joint is mechanically robust, and thus the combination is a viable option for a Pb-free package system.
The crystallization and phase transformations of amorphous NiTi thin films were studied using in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These films were sputter-deposited onto micromachined silicon-nitride membranes and subjected to heating and cooling conditions. The microstructural evolution was monitored and recorded. Kinetic parameters such as the nucleation rate, growth rate, and area-fraction transformed were independently determined by noting the number of grains per frame and their change in size. Using the Johnson–Mehl–Avrami–Kolmogorov analysis, fitted kinetic parameters were determined and found to be consistent with TEM observations. To explore the compositional sensitivity of crystallization, samples near-equiatomic and slightly Ti-rich were studied with these methods. TEM micrographs show that equiatomic films exhibit polymorphic crystallization while samples that are slightly off-stoichiometry showed more complicated behavior.
Poly Si1−xGex films have been suggested as a promising alternative to the currently employed poly-Si gate electrode for CMOS technology due to lower resistivity, less boron penetration, and less gate depletion effect than those of poly Si gates. We investigated the formation of poly Si1−xGex films grown by UHV CVD using Si2H6 and GeH4 gases, and studied their microstructures as well as their electrical characteristics. The Ge content of the Si1−xGex films increased linearly with the flux of the GeH4 gas up to x=0.3, and saturated above x=0.45. The deposition rate of the poly Si1−xGex films increased linearly with the flux of the GeH4 gas up to x=0.1, above which it is slightly changed. The resistivity of the Si1−xGex films decreased as the Ge content increased, and was about one half of that of poly-Si films at the Ge content of 45%. The C-V measurements of the MOSCAP structures with poly Si1−xGex gates demonstrated that the flat band voltage of the poly Si1−xGex films was lower than that of poly-Si films by 0.2V.
In the copper metallization adopted for better speed and reliability in microelectronic devices, the choice of underlayer is one of the major concerns. Its requirements include low electrical resistance, adhesion to Cu and adjacent dielectric materials, confinement of Cu from drifting, and nucleation and texture enhancement of the overlying Cu film. Metallic tantalum is a very promising candidate. In this paper, the thermal stability of Cu/Ta interfaces is investigated to estimate the reliability of such a Ta underlayer.
Thin Cu and Ta films were consecutively deposited without breaking vacuum using a dc sputtering method to simulate the seed layer and underlayer in a Cu metallization structure. All the synthesized Ta films were the metastable tetragonal structure rather than the stable body-centered cubic (bcc) phase.
We have shown that (111) Cu grows epitaxially on top of (002) tetragonal Ta even though the Cu and Ta have hexagonal and tetragonal atomic arrangement on those planes, respectively. Using electron diffraction in cross-sectional and plan-view samples, an unexpected atomic matching at the interface was discovered as shown in Figure 1(b).
Interface reinforcement brought about by addition of a γ-amino-propyl-triethoxy-silane (γ-APS) adhesion promoter layer between a silicon wafer and a spun-on benzocyclobutene polymer (BCB) is investigated. Combining cross-sectional TEM and XPS, crack growth is shown to occur along the γ-APS/BCB interface. Ion etching and in-situ XPS are further employed to study chain orientation and chemical bonding variations through the silane layer. A tendency of the amide group to orient away from the wafer is documented and Si-O-Si siloxane bonding at the γ- APS/SiO2 interface is hypothesized as an important mechanism for adhesion strength enhancement.
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