Publication
Title
Etching of low-k materials for microelectronics applications by means of a plasma : modeling and experimental investigation
Author
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the etch process of so-called low-k organic material by means of a N2/H2 capacitively coupled plasma, as applied in the micro-electronics industry for the manufacturing of computer chips. In recent years, such an organic material has emerged as a possible alternative for replacing bulk SiO2 as a dielectric material in the back-end-of-line, because of the smaller parasitic capacity between adjacent conducting lines, and thus a faster propagation of the electrical signals throughout the chip. Numerical simulations with a hybrid plasma model, using an extensive plasma and surface chemistry set, as well as experiments are performed, focusing on the plasma properties as well as the actual etching process, to obtain a better insight into the underlying mechanisms. Furthermore, the effects of gas pressure, applied power and gas composition are investigated to try to optimize the etch process. In general, the plasma density reaches a maximum near the wafer edge due to the so-called 'edge effect'. As a result, the etch rate is not uniform but will also reach its maximum near the wafer edge. The pressure seems not to have a big effect. A higher power increases the etch rate, but the uniformity becomes (slightly) worse. The gas mixing ratio has no significant effect on the etch process, except when a pure H2 or N2 plasma is used, illustrating the synergistic effects of a N2/H2 plasma. In fact, our calculations reveal that the N2/H2 plasma entails an ion-enhanced etch process. The simulation results are in reasonable agreement with the experimental values. The microscopic etch profile shows the desired anisotropic shape under all conditions under study.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Plasma sources science and technology / Institute of Physics. - Bristol, 1992, currens
Publication
Bristol : Institute of Physics, 2013
ISSN
0963-0252
Volume/pages
22:2(2013), p. 1-19
Article Reference
025011
ISI
000317275400013
Medium
E-only publicatie
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 27.03.2013
Last edited 21.06.2017
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