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Plasma Effects on Thin Film Microstructure

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2011

Munir D. Naeem
Affiliation:
IBM Microelectronics Division, Hopewell Jn., NY 12533 Materials Engineering Dept., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180
Stephen M. Rossnagel
Affiliation:
T.J. Watson Research Center, IBM Research Division, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
Krishna Rajan
Affiliation:
Materials Engineering Dept., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180
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Abstract

We have studied the effects of low energy ion bombardment on thin copper films. Evaporated, sputtered and CVD copper films (∼50 nm) were exposed to Magnetically Enhanced (ME) Ar plasmas. The microstructural changes (grain size) in the films were studied using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM).

Grain growth is observed in thin Cu films when the films are exposed to low energy (87 eV) Ar plasmas. The microstructural changes in sputtered and evaporated films are quite significant whereas the plasma bombardment has less effect on CVD films. These changes occur very rapidly and cannot be attributed solely to the thermal effects, especially at low RF power levels (500 W). The initial microstructure of the film has a significant effect on grain growth during plasma exposure.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1994

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References

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