Plasma-Assisted ALD of Highly Conductive HfNx: On the Effect of Energetic Ions on Film Microstructure

Saurabh Karwal, Marcel A. Verheijen, Karsten Arts, Tahsin Faraz, Wilhelmus M. M. Kessels, Mariadriana Creatore (Corresponding author)

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Abstract

In this work, we report on the atomic layer deposition (ALD) of HfN x thin films by employing CpHf(NMe 2) 3 as the Hf(IV) precursor and Ar–H 2 plasma in combination with external RF substrate biasing as the co-reactant. Following up on our previous results based on an H 2 plasma and external RF substrate biasing, here we address the effect of ions with a larger mass and higher energy impinging on HfN x film surface during growth. We show that an increase in the average ion energy up to 304 eV leads to a very low electrical resistivity of 4.1 × 10 –4 Ωcm. This resistivity value is achieved for films as thin as ~ 35 nm, and it is an order of magnitude lower than the resistivity reported in literature for HfN x films grown by either CVD or ALD, while being comparable to the resistivity of PVD-grown HfN x films. From the extensive thin film characterization, we conclude that the impinging ions during the film growth lead to the very low electrical resistivity of HfN x films by suppressing the oxygen incorporation and in-grain nano-porosity in the films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-712
Number of pages16
JournalPlasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

Funding

The authors thank Dr. Vincent Vandalon, Dr. Richard Engeln and Dr. Harm Knoops (University of Technology Eindhoven) for fruitful discussions and Cristian van Helvoirt and Jeroen van Gerwen (University of Technology Eindhoven) for the skillful technical assistance. Dr. Beatriz Barcones Campo (University of Technology Eindhoven) is acknowledged for the FIB preparation of the TEM samples. Solliance and the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant are acknowledged for funding the TEM facility. The authors would also like to thank Vivek Beladiya (University of Jena) for the stress measurements. This work was supported financially by Technologiestichting STW through the project LIMIET (#13316) and Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO through project HTSM (#15352). Air Liquide is kindly acknowledged for providing the Hf precursor. The authors thank Dr. Vincent Vandalon, Dr. Richard Engeln and Dr. Harm Knoops (University of Technology Eindhoven) for fruitful discussions and Cristian van Helvoirt and Jeroen van Gerwen (University of Technology Eindhoven) for the skillful technical assistance. Dr. Beatriz Barcones Campo (University of Technology Eindhoven) is acknowledged for the FIB preparation of the TEM samples. Solliance and the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant are acknowledged for funding the TEM facility. The authors would also like to thank Vivek Beladiya (University of Jena) for the stress measurements. This work was supported financially by Technologiestichting STW through the project LIMIET (#13316) and Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO through project HTSM (#15352). Air Liquide is kindly acknowledged for providing the Hf precursor.

FundersFunder number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Vivek Beladiya
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek15352
Stichting Voor De Technische Wetenschappen13316

    Keywords

    • Atomic layer deposition
    • Hafnium nitride
    • RF substrate bias
    • Electrical conductivity

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