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Native Oxide and the Residual Stress of Thin Mo and Ta Films

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2011

L. J. Parfitt
Affiliation:
Materials Science and Engineering Department, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2136
Z. U. Rek
Affiliation:
Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, Stanford, CA, 94309
S. M. Yalisove
Affiliation:
Materials Science and Engineering Department, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2136
J. C. Bilello
Affiliation:
Materials Science and Engineering Department, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2136
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Abstract

Residual stress changed substantially between 2.5 and 80 nm film thickness in very thin Mo and Ta coatings sputtered onto Si substrates with native oxide. For both Mo and Ta, the thinnest films had a high compressive stress on the order of 2 to 3 GPa, and the stress relaxed, or became slightly tensile, with increasing film thickness. The coatings were examined using a variety of advanced characterization techniques including Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES), Grazing Incidence X-ray Scattering (GIXS), and High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM). AES showed the presence of 0 and C contamination at the interface between the substrate and the film; these impurities originated from the adsorbed species and the native oxide on the surface of the wafers. GIXS analysis of the Mo films showed that the lattice of the thinnest layers was considerably expanded compared to the interplanar spacing of bulk, pure Mo. This expansion was caused by incorporation of impurities from the substrate into interstitial sites, which caused the very high compressive stress. HRTEM showed that the sputter deposition process did not alter the thickness of the native oxide layer, suggesting that the Mo and Ta films interacted with only the adsorbed impurities and the top one or two layers of the SiO2. Mo films deposited onto clean W layers were tensile, which supported the hypothesis that impurities caused the high compressive stresses in the films deposited onto SiO2. Grain growth and phase transformations contributed to the relaxation in stress observed in the thicker films.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1997

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