Deposition and properties of Co- and Ru-based ultra-thin films
Future copper interconnect systems will require replacement of the materials that currently comprise both the liner layer(s) and the capping layer. Ruthenium has previously been considered as a material that could function as a single material liner, however its poor ability to prevent copper diffusion makes it incompatible with liner requirements. A recently described chemical vapor deposition route to amorphous ruthenium-phosphorus alloy films could correct this problem by eliminating the grain boundaries found in pure ruthenium films. Bias-temperature stressing of capacitor structures using 5 nm ruthenium-phosphorus film as a barrier to copper diffusion and analysis of the times-to-failure at accelerated temperature and field conditions implies that ruthenium-phosphorus performs acceptably as a diffusion barrier for temperatures above 165 °C. The future problems associated with the copper capping layer are primarily due to the poor adhesion between copper and the current Si-based capping layers. Cobalt, which adheres well to copper, has been widely proposed to replace the Si-based materials, but its ability to prevent copper diffusion must be improved if it is to be successfully implemented in the interconnect. Using a dual-source chemistry of dicobaltoctacarbonyl and trimethylphosphine at temperatures from 250-350 °C, amorphous cobalt-phosphorus can be deposited by chemical vapor deposition. The films contain elemental cobalt and phosphorus, plus some carbon impurity, which is incorporated in the film as both graphitic and carbidic (bonded to cobalt) carbon. When deposited on copper, the adhesion between the two materials remains strong despite the presence of phosphorus and carbon at the interface, but the selectivity for growth on copper compared to silicon dioxide is poor and must be improved prior to consideration for application in interconnect systems. A single molecule precursor containing both cobalt and phosphorus atoms, tetrakis(trimethylphosphine)cobalt(0), yields cobalt-phosphorus films without any co-reactant. However, the molecule does not contain sufficient amounts of amorphizing agents to fully eliminate grain boundaries, and the resulting film is nanocrystalline.