Effect of passivation on stress relaxation in electroplated copper films

Dongwen Gan, Paul S. Ho, Yaoyu Pang, Rui Huang*, Leu-Jih Perng, Jose Maiz, Tracey Scherban

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the effect of passivation on the kinetics of interfacial mass transport by measuring stress relaxation in electroplated Cu films with four different cap layers: SiN, SiC, SiCN, and a Co metal cap. Stress curves measured under thermal cycling showed different behaviors for the unpassivated and passivated Cu films, but were essentially indifferent for the films passivated with different cap layers. On the other hand, stress relaxation measured under an isothermal condition revealed clearly the effect of passivation, indicating that interface diffusion controls the kinetics of stress relaxation. The relaxation rates in the passivated Cu films were found to decrease in the order of SiC, SiCN, SiN, and metal caps. This correlates well with previous studies on the relationship between interfacial adhesion and electromigration. A kinetic model based on coupling of interface and grain-boundary diffusion was used to deduce the interface diffusivities and the corresponding activation energies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1512-1518
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2006

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