5 September 1997 Correlation between aluminum alloy sputtering target metallurgical characteristics, arc initiation, and in-film defect intensity
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Increasing levels of metallization, shrinking device geometries, and stringent defect density requirements have led to a continuous focus in the semiconductor manufacturing community to reduce defects generated during metal deposition by PVD techniques. Of particular interest in the metallization community is the reduction in in-film defect density in sputtered aluminum films. Pareto analysis of in-film defects in currently used interconnect metallization schemes suggest that a considerable portion of the in-film defects (up to 50%) are caused by unipolar arcing during aluminum deposition. Due to their unusual molten appearance, these defects are commonly referred to as splats. These defects can be as large as 500 micrometers , and due to their frequency of occurrence and size can significantly impact device yield in a manufacturing environment. Systematic investigations have revealed that the formation of splats, due to unipolar arcing, can be strongly correlated to the metallurgy of the aluminum alloy targets used during aluminum sputter deposition. The presence of undesirable metallurgical attributes such as alumina inclusions, porosity, oxygen content etc. are the primary causes for the occurrence of unipolar arcing. These undesirable metallurgical attributes appear to be the result of the manufacturing processes used to manufacture the aluminum alloy targets. The results of this study indicate that significant improvement in defect generation due to unipolar arcing during sputter deposition of aluminum films, and hence an improvement in device yield, is possible by reduction/elimination of the various undesirable metallurgical attributes in the aluminum alloy targets.
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Vikram Pavate, Vikram Pavate, Murali Abburi, Murali Abburi, Sunny Chiang, Sunny Chiang, Keith Hansen, Keith Hansen, Glen Mori, Glen Mori, Murali K. Narasimhan, Murali K. Narasimhan, Sesh Ramaswami, Sesh Ramaswami, Jaim Nulman, Jaim Nulman, Daryl Restaino, Daryl Restaino, } "Correlation between aluminum alloy sputtering target metallurgical characteristics, arc initiation, and in-film defect intensity", Proc. SPIE 3214, Multilevel Interconnect Technology, (5 September 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.284663; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.284663

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