Effect of Annealing on the Surface Microstructural Evolution and the Electromigration Reliability of Electroplated Cu Films
Authors: Kang S.H.; Obeng Y.S.; Decker M.A.; Oh M.; Merchant S.M.; Karthikeyan S.K.; Seet C.S.; Oates A.S.
Source: Journal of Electronic Materials, Volume 30, Number 12, December 2001 , pp. 1506-1512(7)
Abstract:This paper presents the effects of annealing, performed over a temperature range from 200°C to 400°C, on the surface microstructural evolution and the electromigration reliability of electroplated Cu films. After annealing, a substantial increase in surface roughness was observed, while variations in mean grain size and nanoindentation hardness were minor. Given the annealing temperature, the surface roughness was larger for the films annealed in forming gas, due to the existence of hydrogen. In particular, the films annealed at 400°C in forming gas demonstrated severe grain-boundary grooving and surface voiding. The defective nature of the annealed surface can be alleviated by chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP), when annealing is conducted prior to the CMP. However, it appears that a sequential thermal excursion at relatively high temperatures re-aggravates the integrity of the Cu surface. This argument may be supported by the electromigration-test results on dual-damascene interconnects fabricated using two different thermal profiles. The electromigration lifetimes were longer by more than a factor of two for the interconnects that skipped a post-passivation anneal at 400°C. The experimental evidence presented in this work suggests that controlling the integrity and quality of the Cu surface is an important step in ensuring good electromigration reliability.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2001-12-01