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Low- k Dielectrics: Materials and Process Technology. Rebeca C. Diaz EE 518, Penn State Instructor: Dr. J. Ruzyllo April 13, 2006. Outline. Motivation for low- k dielectrics Required properties of low- k dielectrics Proposed materials Most promising materials

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low k dielectrics materials and process technology

Low-k Dielectrics: Materials and Process Technology

Rebeca C. Diaz

EE 518, Penn State

Instructor: Dr. J. Ruzyllo

April 13, 2006

  • Motivation for low-k dielectrics
  • Required properties of low-k dielectrics
  • Proposed materials
  • Most promising materials
  • CVD vs. Spin-on techniques
  • Conclusion
why low k dielectrics
Why Low-k Dielectrics?
  • Reduce RC constant without reducing size
  • R metal interconnect

minimized with Cu

  • C dielectric

need low-k

inorganic organic hybrid msq k 2 0 2
Inorganic/organic Hybrid: MSQ (k = 2.0)2

HOSP (Honeywell)

  • “Carbon-doped oxide”
  • High thermal stability
  • High resistance to cracks
  • Reactant with stripping chemicals
organic pae k 2 6 2
Organic: PAE (k = 2.6)2

FLARE (Honeywell) and VELOX (Schumacher)

  • High thermal stability
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Good adhesion with metals and SiO2
  • Anisotropic but solved by increasing k to 2.8
organic parylene 4
Organic: Parylene4
  • Parylene-N (k = 2.7)
    • Mechanically stable
    • High thermal stability
    • Poor adhesion with Cu
  • Parylene-F (k = 2.4)
    • Same properties as Parylene-N
    • Poor adhesion can lead to corrosion


organic b staged polymers k 2 6 2

(Dow Chemical)

Fluorine based

Good temperature stability

Low metal adhesion

Moisture absorption

Currently used in GaAs interlayer dielectric

SiLK (Dow Chemical)

Phosphorous based

High temperature stability

Good metal adhesion

Low mechanical stability

Organic: B-staged polymers (k = 2.6)2
organic ptfe k 1 9 2
Organic: PTFE (k = 1.9)2


  • No moisture absorption
  • Temperature resistant
  • Good adhesion with metals
  • Good mechanical stability
  • Compatible with etching chemistries
porous organics and inorganics
Porous Organics and Inorganics
  • Add closed cells of air to materials that show promising characteristics
  • Dielectric constants below 2.0

(1) “Low-k Dielectrics.” http://fcs.itc.it/

disadvantages of porous materials 2
Disadvantages of Porous Materials2
  • Weakens mechanical properties
  • Lower thermal conductivity
  • Narrow pore distribution to ensure dielectric constant is homogeneous and isotropic
  • Pores need to be closed cells to prevent crack propagation and moisture absorption
  • Need to add silica to seal surface pores
air gaps and bridges k 1 0 2
Air Gaps and Bridges (k = 1.0)2
  • Low breakdown voltage
  • Low thermal conductivity
  • Low strength
  • Deposition method unknown
cvd vs spin on deposition 2

k as low as 2.0

Porosity cannot be added

Better mechanical stability

Better thermal stability

Technology in place

Less expensive

Batch process


k as low as 1.9

k below 1.9 by adding porosity

More promising low-k materials

More uniform deposition

Extendable to future technologies

Single-wafer process

CVD vs. Spin-on Deposition2
  • Introduction of low-k dielectric is needed in order to continue to downscale technology
  • Several CVD or Spin-on deposited materials look promising for the near-future generations
  • Spin-on porous materials appear to be the only option for future generations
  • Air gaps need more research in order to be considered for future low-k dielectrics

(1) Fisica Chimica delle Superfici e Interfacce. “Low-k Dielectrics.” <http://fcs.itc.it/MAMeBROCHURE/low-k%20dielectrics.pdf> 31 Mar 2006.

(2) Clarke, Michael E. Application Note MAL123: “Introducing Low-k Dielectrics into Semiconductor Processing.” Mykrolis. 2003. <http://www.mykrolis.com/publications.nsf/ docs/MAL123> 31 Mar 2006

(3) Plumber et al. “Back-end Technology.” Silicon VLSI Technology: Fundamentals, Practice and Modeling. Chap. 11. Prentice Hall, NJ, USA. 2000.

(4) Nishi, Yoshio and Doering, Robert. “Alternate Interlevel Dielectrics.” Handbook of Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. Chap. 12. Marcel Dekker, Inc. NY, USA. 2000.