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Reliability analysis method for low-k interconnect dielectrics breakdown in integrated circuits

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3 Author(s)
Haase, Gaddi S. ; Texas Instruments, Silicon Technology Development (SITD), 13570 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, Texas 75243 ; Ogawa, E.T. ; McPherson, J.W.

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The shrinking line-to-line spacing in interconnect systems for advanced integrated circuit technology and the use of lower dielectric constant materials create the need for tools to evaluate the interconnect dielectric reliability. A multi-temperature, dual-ramp-rate voltage-ramp-to-breakdown methodology is presented and used here to extract important dielectric-breakdown parameters accurately for minimum-spaced metal lines. It is demonstrated that correction for the true minimum line-to-line spacing distributions become critically important and that the minimum spacing can be extracted electrically and compares favorably to electron microscopy cross sections. The spacing-corrected breakdown field distributions, at various temperatures, for the organosilicate material tested, indicated a very low apparent zero-field activation energy (0.14±0.02 eV) and an apparent field-acceleration parameter γ=4.1±0.3 cm/MV that has little or no temperature dependence. Constant-voltage time-dependent-dielectric-breakdown measurements were found to agree well with these observations.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:98 ,  Issue: 3 )