Copper interconnect electromigration behaviors in various structures and lifetime improvement by cap/dielectric interface treatment

M. H. Lin*, Y. L. Lin, K. P. Chang, K. C. Su, Ta-Hui Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Copper interconnect electromigration performance was examined in various structures and three low-k materials (k = 2.65-3.6) using advanced BEOL technology. Strong current dependence effect on electromigration lifetime in three levels via terminated metal lines structure was shown. Moreover, different process approach will lead to different EM behavior and related failure mode. Multi-modality electromigration behavior of Cu dual damascene interconnects were studied. Both Superposition and Weak-Link models were used for statistical determination of lifetimes of each failure models (Statistical method). Results were correlated to the lifetimes of respective failure models physically identified according to resistance time evolution behaviors (Physical method). Good agreement was achieved. Various testing structures are designed to identify the EM failure modes. Extensive failure analysis was carried out to understand the failure phenomena of various test structures. The activation energies of failure modes were calculated. The weak links of interconnect system were also identified. A significant improvement of electromigration (EM) lifetime is achieved by modification of the pre-clean step before cap-layer deposition and by changing Cu cap/dielectric materials. A possible mechanism for EM lifetime enhancement was proposed. Cu-silicide formation before cap-layer deposition and adhesion of Cu/cap interface were found to be critical factors in controlling Cu electromigration reliability. The adhesion of the Cu/cap interface can be directly correlated to electromigration MTF and activation energy. Results of present study suggest that interface of Cu interconnects is the key factor for EM performance for advanced BEOL technology design rules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1078
Number of pages18
JournalMicroelectronics Reliability
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2005

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