The knowledge of the reaction kinetics which can occur at an interface of a couple of materials, remains a crucial issue to establish the structural limits of a diffusion barrier intended for microelectronic structures.
In the past years, the interfacial reactions activated at an interface of a couple of materials, as for example aluminum and titanium, have been analyzed extensively using different experimental tools, as for example: Ruthreford Back Scattering (thickness determination) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). Then, these experimental methods were useful to deduce parameters, characterizing the interfacial reactions in bulk samples: apparent activation energies, enthalpy of formation. Because in thin films, the kinetics of the reactions that can be activated at an interface will be different; we studied interfacial reactions in submicronic Al/Ti layers.
Taking advantage of the accuracy of the DSC (reaction rate determinations and detection of earlier stages of intermetallic phase formation), our experimental approach consisted in a series of isothermal and non-isothermal DSC experiments on submicron Al/Ti layered structures. From the reaction rate determination, analytical methods as the Kissinger Ozawa approach were used, to determine the apparent activation energies of the phase formation. Also the results allowed to model and discuss the first steps of the interfacial reaction.