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Microstructural evolution of Al-Cu thin-film conducting lines during post-pattern annealing

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2 Author(s)
Kang, S.H. ; Center for Advanced Materials, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,Department of Materials Science and Mineral Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720 ; Morris, J.W., Jr.

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This work reports a statistical analysis of the evolution of polygranular segment lengths during high-temperature annealing of Al(Cu) thin-film interconnects with quasi-bamboo microstructures. To create samples of Al(Cu) lines that could be imaged by transmission electron microscopy without breaking or thinning, the lines were deposited on electron-transparent silicon nitride films (the “silicon nitride window” technique). The microstructures of the lines were studied as a function of annealing time and temperature. In particular, the distribution of polygranular segment lengths was measured. The results show that the longer polyglranular segments are preferentially eliminated during post-pattern annealing. As a consequence, the segment-length distribution narrows monotonically during annealing, and changes in shape. The preferential loss of the longest polygranular segments leads to a dramatic increase in resistance to electromigration failure.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:82 ,  Issue: 1 )