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In this study, a novel method is explored for improving the electromigration lifetime of Cu wires, using Ta implantation into Cu. For high implant doses (2E15 cm−2), the electromigration lifetime is improved by over 5X using this method. An increase in lifetime is achieved, even for an average surface concentration of Ta on the order of 0.1 atm%. We propose that the improvement in electromigration lifetime is due to the reduction of defects at the SiN/Cu interface due to the presence of Ta. The line-to-line leakage at high voltages (> 5V) increases with the Ta implant, with higher leakage at higher Ta concentrations, so the Ta dose must be limited to avoid excessive leakage.
Nitrogen diffusion and defect structure were investigated after medium to high dose nitrogen implantation and anneal. 11 keV N2+ was implanted into silicon at doses ranging from 2×1014 to 2×1015 cm−2. The samples were annealed with an RTA system from 750°C to 900°C in a nitrogen atmosphere or at 1000°C in an oxidizing ambient. Nitrogen profiles were obtained by SIMS, and cross-section TEM was done on selected samples. TOF-SIMS was carried out in the oxidized samples. For lower doses, most of the nitrogen diffuses out of silicon into the silicon/oxide interface as expected. For the highest dose, a significant portion of the nitrogen still remains in silicon even after the highest thermal budget. This is attributed to the finite capacity of the silicon/oxide interface to trap nitrogen. When the interface gets saturated by nitrogen atoms, nitrogen in silicon can not escape into the interface. Implant doses above 7×1014 create continuous amorphous layers from the surface. For the 2×1015 case, there is residual amorphous silicon at the surface even after a 750°C 2 min anneal. After the 900°C 2 min anneal, the silicon fully recrystallizes leaving behind stacking faults at the surface and residual end of range damage.
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