Reactive ion etching (RIE) used in contact hole formation can result in damage and contamination of the underlying silicon substrate. In this work, influences of these phenomena on selective tungsten deposition in a low-pressure chemical-vapor-deposition reactor have been studied. The damage was generated because of ion bombardment and radiation-induced bonding changes in silicon lattices. It causes large Si consumption, rough W/Si interface during tungsten deposition, and large leakage current of W/Si Schottky structure. Simultaneously, contamination occurred with two forms of residual layers and impurity permeation layers in fluorocarbon-based RIE chemistries. The CF4/CHF3/O2 RIE of oxide produces the SiFxCyOz complex layers deposited on the sidewall and on the Si surface as well as the embedding of impurities such as F and C in the Si substrate. The creep-up, selectivity loss, lateral encroachment, high W film resistivity, and rough W/Si interface have been observed in the contaminated samples. Accordingly, a post-RIE etching technique used to remove the damage and contaminants before tungsten growth has been developed. A CF4/O2 plasma etching followed with an O2 plasma ashing step exhibits the capability of efficient surface cleaning. The excellent characteristics of W films such as elimination of encroachment and creep-up, low selectivity loss (i.e., 0.25 pcs/cm2), low resistivity of W films, smooth W/Si interface, and very low leakage current of W/Si contacts are thus obtained.