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Spectroscopic ellipsometry on thin titanium oxide layers grown on titanium by plasma oxidation

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4 Author(s)
Droulers, G. ; Nanofabrication and Nanocharacterization Research Center, Universite de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec J1K 2R1, Canada ; Beaumont, A. ; Beauvais, J. ; Drouin, D.

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Electronic devices based on tunnel junctions require tools able to accurately control the thickness of thin metal and oxide layers on the order of the nanometer. This article shows that multisample ellipsometry is an accurate method to reach this goal on plain uniform layers, in particular for titanium. From these measurements, the authors carefully studied the oxidation rate of titanium thin films in an oxygen plasma. The authors found that the oxide thickness saturates at 5.4±0.4 nm after 10 min in the plasma with an ion acceleration power of 30 W. Increasing this power to 240 W increases the saturation value to 7.6±0.4 nm. An x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study of the oxide has shown that the oxide created by O2 plasma is stoichiometric (TiO2). The developed model was also used to measure the thicknesses of titanium and titanium oxide layers that have been polished using a chemical mechanical planarization process and a material removal rate of 5.9 nm/min is found with our planarization parameters.

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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 2 )