A novel polymer has been developed for use as a thin film dielectric in the interconnect structure of high density integrated circuits. The coating is applied to the substrate as an oligomeric solution, SiLK*, using conventional spin coating equipment and produces highly uniform films after curing at 400 °C to 450 °C. The oligomeric solution, with a viscosity of ca. 30 cPs, is readily handled on standard thin film coating equipment. Polymerization does not require a catalyst. There is no water evolved during the polymerization. The resulting polymer network is an aromatic hydrocarbon with an isotropie structure and contains no fluorine.
The properties of the cured films are designed to permit integration with current ILD processes. In particular, the rate of weight-loss during isothermal exposures at 450 °C is ca. 0.7 wt.%/hour. The dielectric constant of cured SiLK has been measured at 2.65. The refractive index in both the in-plane and out-of-plane directions is 1.63. The flow characteristics of SiLK lead to broad topographic planarization and permit the filling of gaps at least as narrow as 0.1 μm. The glass transition temperature for the fully cured film is greater than 490 °C. The coefficient of thermal expansivity is 66 ppm/°C below the glass transition temperature. The stress in fully cured films on Si wafers is ca. 60 MPa at room temperature. The fracture toughness measured on thin films is 0.62 MPa m ½. Thin coatings absorb less than 0.25 wt.% water when exposed to 80% relative humidity at room temperature.