The novel improvement of low dielectric constant methylsilsesquioxane by N 2 O plasma treatment

T. C. Chang*, Po-Tsun Liu, Y. S. Mor, S. M. Sze, Y. L. Yang, M. S. Feng, Fu-Ming Pan, B. T. Dai, C. Y. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The organic silsesquioxane, methylsilsesquioxane (MSQ), has a low dielectric constant because of its lower film density compared to thermal oxide. However, the quality of MSQ film is degraded by the damage of oxygen plasma and hygroscopic behavior during photoresist stripping. In this work, we studied the N 2 O plasma treatment for improving the quality of MSQ. The leakage current of MSQ decreases as the N 2 O plasma treatment time is increased. The dielectric constant of N 2 O plasma-treated sample remains constant (∼2.7). In addition, the thermal stability of MSQ film can be enhanced. The role of N 2 O plasma is to convert the surface layer of organic MSQ into inorganic type by decomposition of the alkyl group and thus form a passivation layer. The inert passivation layer enhances the resistance to moisture uptake and O2 plasma attack. Therefore, N2O plasma-treatment greatly improves the quality of low k MSQ film and removes the issue of photoresist stripping in the integrated process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3802-3806
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999

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