In various device fabrication processes, such as in metal gate and low resistance word line fabrication, one needs to be able to oxidize Si without oxidizing metals present. We developed such a process using a combination of H2 and O2 in the H2 rich regime. The process developed is safe and is production worthy with excellent uniformity.
When carrying out the selective oxidation using H2/O2, a high Si oxidation rate is preferred which requires a high oxygen concentration. At the same time, the increase in metal sheet resistance, if any, must be small. We found that with an oxygen concentration as high as 20%, the increase in W sheet resistance is small. We present data on the oxidation rate of Si under different conditions as well as the selectivity of the process with respect to W and WN.