The effect of oxygen on the interfacial reactions of Cu/TaNx/Si multilayers

Kai Min Yin*, Li Chang, Fu Rong Chen, Ji Jung Kai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Interfacial reactions of Cu/TaNx/Si and silicon nitride/Cu/TaNx/Si multilayers after thermal treatment at 500 and 700°C under an ambient with residual oxygen were investigated using an energy-filtered TEM (EFTEM). The Cu and TaNx films were deposited onto the Si (0 0 1) wafer by ionized metal plasma (IMP) technique. An interlayer of TaOxNy was observed between Cu and TaNx diffusion barrier in the Cu/TaNx/Si sample after 500°C annealing. It is evident that oxygen diffused through the Cu grain boundaries and promotes the oxidation of the Ta nitride barrier layer to form the TaOxNy. It is also found that the as-deposited TaNx (x∼0.5) film with nano-crystalline microstructure would transform into Ta2N structure with large grain character after 500°C heat treatment. After 700°C annealing, not only the TaNx barrier layer transformed into Ta2N but the silicidation of Cu to Cu3Si and TaNx to Ta5Si3 occurred. However, no TaOxNy interlayer was observed. This may result from the preferable oxidation of Cu3Si that may suppress the oxidation of TaNx. Nevertheless, in the silicon nitride capped (silicon nitride/Cu/TaNx/Si) case, there was no TaOxNy interlayer observed in the 500°C annealed specimen. And the interfacial reaction in the silicon nitride/Cu/TaNx/Si annealed specimen at 700°C also showed much less severe extent than the sample without capping. Experiments show that the oxygen in the ambient enhances the oxidation at 500°C and silicidation at 700°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Chemistry and Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2001


  • Cu metallization
  • Diffusion barrier
  • Oxidation
  • Transmission electron microscopy

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