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Methods of producing plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition silicon nitride thin films with high compressive and tensile stress

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12 Author(s)
Belyansky, M. ; IBM Microelectronics, 2070 Route 52, Hopewell Junction, New York 12533 ; Chace, M. ; Gluschenkov, O. ; Kempisty, J.
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Various methods of generating high stress in thin plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) silicon nitride (SiN) films are reported. Besides the mainstream variation of plasma power and other process parameters, novel techniques such as creation of high density layers in multilayer PECVD structures or exposure of SiN films to ultraviolet radiation are shown to increase intrinsic film stress. Thin PECVD SiN films have been analyzed by a variety of analytical techniques including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, x-ray reflectivity (XRR), time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, and transmission electron microscopy to collect data on bonding, density, chemical composition, and film thickness. The level of bonded hydrogen as well as film density has been found to correlate with film stress. Creation of multilayer structures and high density layers help to build up more stress compared to a standard single layer film deposition. Both the density and number of layers in a film, characterized by XRR, affect the stress. Higher density layers affect diffusion profiles and show impurity oscillations corresponding to a multilayer film structure. Ultraviolet cure allows the film to achieve higher level of tensile stress at relatively low temperatures (400–500 °C), comparable to the result of film high temperature annealing.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

May 2008

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