Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 28, Number 3, December 2004
|Page(s)||331 - 337|
|Section||Plasma, Discharges and Processes|
|Published online||23 November 2004|
Etching of low-k materials in high density fluorocarbon plasma*
IMN-LPCM, Université de Nantes, 2 rue de la Houssinière, BP 32229,
44322 Nantes Cedex 03, France
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 4 August 2004
Published online: 23 November 2004
Low dielectric constant materials (low-k) are used as interlevel dielectrics in integrated circuits. This paper concerns the etching process of these materials in high density plasma with the aim to provide some insights concerning the etch mechanisms. Materials studied are methylsilsesquioxane (MSQ) polymers, either dense (SiOC) or containing 40% of porosity (porous SiOC). Amorphous hydrogenated silicon carbide (SiC) material, used as hard mask and/or etch stop layer, is also investigated. Etch is performed in an inductively coupled reactor using fluorocarbon gases, which have proven to be very successful in the etch of conventional SiO2. First, etching with hexafluoroethane (C2F is performed. Although etch rates are high, etch selectivities with respect to SiC are weak. So, oxygen, argon, and hydrogen are added to C2F6 with the aim of improving selectivities. The best selectivity is obtained for the C2F6/H2 (10%–90%) mixture. To understand etch rate and selectivity variations, plasma analyses by optical emission spectroscopy are correlated to surface analysis using X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). In general, atomic fluorine concentration in the plasma explains the etch rate, while the presence of a fluorocarbon layer on the surface is well correlated to the selectivity. To ensure that the etch process does not affect materials properties, and particularly their dielectric constant, bulk analysis by Fourier Transformed Infra-Red spectroscopy and images by Scanning Electron Microscopy have also been carried out.
PACS: 52.77.Bn – Etching and cleaning / 77.55.+f – Dielectric thin films / 85.40.Ls – Metallization, contacts, interconnects; device isolation
© EDP Sciences, 2004
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