The patent's inventors are Ryan, Vivian W. (
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The disclosed subject matter relates generally to the field of semiconductor device manufacturing, and more particularly, to a subtractive metal multi-layer barrier layer for an interconnect structure.
"A conventional integrated circuit device, such as a microprocessor, is typically comprised of many thousands of semiconductor devices, e.g., transistors, formed above the surface of a semi-conductive substrate. For the integrated circuit device to function, the transistors must be electrically connected to one another through conductive interconnect structures. The back end of line (BEOL) is the second portion of integrated circuit fabrication where the individual devices (transistors, capacitors, resistors, etc.) get interconnected with wiring on device. BEOL generally begins when the first layer of metal is deposited on the wafer. It includes contacts, insulating layers (dielectrics), metal levels, and bonding sites for chip-to-package connections. Many modern integrated circuit devices are very densely packed, i.e., there is very little space between the transistors formed above the substrate. Thus, these conductive interconnect structures must be made in multiple layers to conserve plot space on the semiconductor substrate.
"The conductive interconnect structures are typically accomplished through the formation of a plurality of conductive lines and conductive plugs, commonly referred to as contacts or vias, formed in alternative layers of dielectric materials formed on the device. As is readily apparent to those skilled in the art, the conductive plugs are means by which various layers of conductive lines, and/or semiconductor devices, may be electrically coupled to one another. The conductive lines that connect the various interconnect structures are commonly formed in trenches defined in the dielectric layers.
"A contact is generally used to define an interconnect structure (e.g., using polysilicon or metal) to an underlying polysilicon layer (e.g., source/drain or gate region of a transistor), while a via denotes a metal to metal interconnect structure. In either case, a contact opening is formed in an insulating layer overlaying the conductive member. A second conductive layer is then formed over the contact opening and electrical communication is established with the conductive member.
"One technique for reducing the size of the features formed on the semiconductor device involves the use of copper for the lines and interconnections in conjunction with new dielectric materials having lower dielectric constants than previously achievable with common dielectric material choices. Standard dielectric materials such as silicon dioxide, TEOS, and F-TEOS have dielectric constants greater than 3. The new dielectric materials, commonly referred to as low-k dielectrics, have dielectric constants less than 3, and thus, allow greater device densities, due to their more efficient isolation capabilities. One such low-k dielectric is sold under the name of Black Diamond, by
"Typical interconnect features include a metal stack including three materials, a barrier layer, a seed layer, and bulk fill. The barrier layer serves to inhibit migration or diffusion of copper into the dielectric and also to inhibit oxygen diffusion from the dielectric into the interconnect feature. The barrier layer may also improve wettability of copper over the topography to minimize agglomeration, thus potentially eliminating the need for a separate liner layer. The seed layer provides favorable surface to nucleate islets for copper grain growth, protects the barrier material from attack in the copper plating bath, and provides a dopant material for diffusion into the copper to mitigate electromigration (EM) and stress migration (SM).
"In a narrow BEOL pitch, the barrier and seed layers must be relatively thin to accommodate the geometry while leaving enough room for the bulk copper fill. Due to continuous scaling to smaller dimensions, it becomes more difficult to create barrier and seed layers that are capable of performing their functions.
"This section of this document is intended to introduce various aspects of art that may be related to various aspects of the disclosed subject matter described and/or claimed below. This section provides background information to facilitate a better understanding of the various aspects of the disclosed subject matter. It should be understood that the statements in this section of this document are to be read in this light, and not as admissions of prior art. The disclosed subject matter is directed to overcoming, or at least reducing the effects of, one or more of the problems set forth above."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The following presents a simplified summary of only some aspects of embodiments of the disclosed subject matter in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the disclosed subject matter. This summary is not an exhaustive overview of the disclosed subject matter. It is not intended to identify key or critical elements of the disclosed subject matter or to delineate the scope of the disclosed subject matter. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is discussed later.
"One aspect of the disclosed subject matter is seen in a method that includes forming an adhesion barrier layer over a dielectric layer formed on a substrate. A first stress level is present across a first interface between the adhesion barrier layer and the dielectric layer. A stress-reducing barrier layer is formed over the adhesion barrier layer. The stress-reducing barrier layer reduces the first stress level to provide a second stress level, less than the first stress level, across a second interface between the adhesion barrier layer, the stress-reducing barrier layer, and the dielectric layer. A metal layer is formed over the stress-reducing barrier layer. The metal layer, adhesion barrier layer, and stress-reducing barrier layer define an interconnect metal stack. Recesses are defined in the interconnect metal stack to expose the dielectric layer. The recesses are filled with a dielectric material, wherein a portion of the interconnect metal stack disposed between adjacent recessed filled with dielectric material defines an interconnect structure."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Ryan, Vivian W.; Zhang, Xunyuan;
Keywords for this news article include: Dielectrics, Electronics, Semiconductor,
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