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VLSI Fab Tech-II

VLSI Fab Tech-II

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Published by: Upma Rai on Mar 18, 2011
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Thin film deposition techniques

Chemical vapour deposition (CVD)
Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is a chemical process used to produce high-purity, highperformance solid materials. The process is often used in the semiconductor industry to produce thin films. In a typical CVD process, the wafer (substrate) is exposed to one or more volatile precursors, which react and/or decompose on the substrate surface to produce the desired deposit. Frequently, volatile by-products are also produced, which are removed by gas flow through the reaction chamber. Microfabrication processes widely use CVD to deposit materials in various forms, including: polycrystalline, amorphous, and epitaxial. These materials include: silicon, carbon fiber, carbon nanofibers, filaments, carbon nanotubes, SiO2, silicon-germanium, tungsten, silicon carbide, silicon nitride, silicon oxynitride, titanium nitride, and various high-k dielectrics. The CVD process is also used to produce synthetic diamonds.

Fig. 2. Thermal CVD process.

Fig. 1. The CVD process.

Fig. 3. Plasma assisted CVD process (PECVD).

 Classified by physical characteristics of vapor : Aerosol assisted CVD (AACVD) . Liquid solutions are injected in a vaporization chamber towards injectors (typically car injectors). These processes differ in the means by which chemical reactions are initiated (e. Direct liquid injection CVD (DLICVD) .  Plasma methods : Microwave plasma-assisted CVD (MPCVD) Plasma-Enhanced CVD (PECVD) . PECVD processing allows deposition at lower temperatures. which is often critical in the manufacture of semiconductors.. typically below 10-6 Pa (~10-8 torr). . Ultrahigh vacuum CVD (UHVCVD) . activation process) and process conditions. Most modern CVD processes are either LPCVD or UHVCVD.CVD processes that utilize plasma to enhance chemical reaction rates of the precursors.A CVD process in which the precursors are in liquid form (liquid or solid dissolved in a convenient solvent). This technique is suitable for use with non-volatile precursors.A CVD process in which the precursors are transported to the substrate by means of a liquid/gas aerosol. This technique is suitable for use on liquid or solid precursors.CVD processes at sub-atmospheric pressures.  Classified by operating pressure : Atmospheric pressure CVD (APCVD) Low-pressure CVD (LPCVD) . Then the precursor vapors are transported to the substrate as in classical CVD process.Types of CVD A number of forms of CVD are in wide use and are frequently referenced in the literature. which can be generated ultrasonically.g.CVD processes at a very low pressure. High growth rates can be reached using this technique. Reduced pressures tend to reduce unwanted gas-phase reactions and improve film uniformity across the wafer.

 Hybrid Physical-Chemical Vapor Deposition (HPCVD) . Atomic layer CVD (ALCVD) ± Deposits successive layers of different substances to produce layered.  Rapid thermal CVD (RTCVD) .  Hot wire CVD (HWCVD) .  Metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) .Vapor deposition processes that involve both chemical decomposition of precursor gas and vaporization of a solid source. Uses a hot filament to chemically decompose the source gases.CVD processes that use heating lamps or other methods to rapidly heat the wafer substrate. Heating only the substrate rather than the gas or chamber walls helps reduce unwanted gas phase reactions that can lead to particle formation.also known as catalytic CVD (Cat-CVD) or hot filament CVD (HFCVD). crystalline films. .CVD processes based on metalorganic precursors.

Silicon dioxide : Silicon dioxide may be deposited by several different processes. Diborane increases the growth rate. Si(OC2H5)4). or a solution of silane with 70-80% nitrogen. dichlorosilane (SiCl2H2) and nitrous oxide (N2O). or tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS. Common source gases include silane and oxygen. with either pure silane feedstock. Polysilicon may be grown directly with doping. if gases such as phosphine. using the following reaction : SiH4 Si + 2H2 This reaction is usually performed in LPCVD systems. The hydrogen reduces the growth rate. An alternative process uses a hydrogen based solution. arsine or diborane are added to the CVD chamber. but arsine and phosphine decrease it. but the temperature is raised to 850 or even 1050 °C to compensate. Temperatures between 600 and 650 °C and pressures between 25 and 150 Pa yield a growth rate between 10 and 20 nm per minute. The reactions are as follows : SiH4 + O2 Si(OC2H5)4 SiO2 + 2 H2 SiO2 + 2 N2 + 2 HCl SiO2 + byproducts SiCl2H2 + 2 N2O .Typical examples of CVD reactions used in IC fabrications Polysilicon : Polycrystalline silicon is deposited from silane (SiH4).

titanium. In general. Nickel. which may be deposited in two ways : WF6 W + 3 F2 WF6 + 3 H2 W + 6 HF . for an arbitrary metal M. and tungsten are widely used. Mo. Ta and Ti are deposited by LPCVD.Silicon nitride : Silicon nitride is often used as an insulator and chemical barrier in manufacturing ICs. tantalum. nickel. These metals can form useful silicides when deposited onto silicon. from their pentachlorides. molybdenum. The following two reactions deposit nitride from the gas phase : 3 SiH4 + 4 NH3 Si3N4 + 12 H2 3 SiCl2H2 + 4 NH3 Si3N4 + 6 HCl + 6 H2 Metals : CVD processes for molybdenum. the reaction is as follows : 2 MCl5 + 5 H2 2 M + 10 HCl The usual source for tungsten is tungsten hexafluoride. and tungsten can be deposited at low temperatures from their carbonyl precursors.

Alternative names for this process include organometallic vapour phase epitaxy (OMVPE). Formation of the epitaxial layer occurs by final pyrolisis of the constituent chemicals at the substrate surface. indium phosphide could be grown in a reactor on a substrate by introducing Trimethylindium ((CH3)3In) and phosphine (PH3). In contrast to molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) the growth of crystals is by chemical reaction and not physical deposition. metalorganic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD) and organometallic chemical vapour deposition (OMCVD). For example. As such this technique is preferred for the formation of devices incorporating thermodynamically metastable alloys. and LEDs. This takes place not in a vacuum. It has become the dominant process for the manufacture of laser diodes. but from the gas phase at moderate pressures (2 to 100 kPa). . solar cells.Metalorganic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD) Metalorganic vapour phase epitaxy (MOVPE) is a chemical vapour deposition method of epitaxial growth of materials. especially compound semiconductors from the surface reaction of organic compounds or metalorganics and metal hydrides containing the required chemical elements.



Another frequently used substrate is Indiumphosphide (InP). uniform and high quality layers can be produced. The equilibrium conditions depend very much on the temperature and on the concentration of the dissolved semiconductor in the melt. This happens at temperatures well below the melting point of the deposited semiconductor. the deposition of the semiconductor crystal on the substrate is slow and uniform. Impurity introduction can be strongly reduced. The method is mainly used for the growth of compound semiconductors. The growth of the layer from the liquid phase can be controlled by a forced cooling of the melt. Very thin. and to avoid tension in the grown layer the thermal expansion coefficient of substrate and grown layer should be similar. . At conditions that are close to the equilibrium between dissolution and deposition. A typical example for the liquid phase epitaxy method is the growth of ternary and quaternary III-V compounds on Galliumarsenide (GaAs) substrates. Doping can be achieved by the addition of dopants.Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE) Liquid phase epitaxy (LPE) is a method to grow semiconductor crystal layers from the melt on solid substrates. To facilitate nucleation. The semiconductor is dissolved in the melt of another material. As a solvent quite often Gallium is used in this case. other substrates like glass or ceramic can also be applied for special applications. However.

This way. and the melt needs to be refreshed after each growth experiment. In this system the melt volume to substrate surface area is much higher. The melt volume to substrate surface area ratio is small. A vertical system can be used in combination with a dipping system for the liquid phase epitaxy growth. The samples are lowered into the melt with the aid of a pull-rod.In the case of a horizontal tool for liquid phase epitaxy the melt or the melts are brought in contact with the substrate (s) by a sliding boat system. Depending on the set-up of the system one or several wafer can be processed at the same time. it is possible to grow multi-layer stacks in an easy way. giving the opportunity to grow thicker layers at a relatively high rate. . When the dedicated process is finished the next melt can be brought in contact with the next substrate.

In the example of gallium and arsenic. In solid-source MBE. which allows the films to grow epitaxially. The gaseous elements then condense on the wafer.Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) Molecular beam epitaxy takes place in high vacuum or ultra high vacuum (10í8 Pa). The term "beam" means that evaporated atoms do not interact with each other or vacuum chamber gases until they reach the wafer. The most important aspect of MBE is the slow deposition rate (typically less than 1000 nm per hour). due to the long mean free paths of the atoms. ultra-pure elements such as gallium and arsenic are heated in separate quasiknudsen effusion cells until they begin to slowly sublimate. where they may react with each other. . single-crystal gallium arsenide is formed. The slow deposition rates require proportionally better vacuum to achieve the same impurity levels as other deposition techniques.

Such layers are now a critical part of many modern semiconductor devices. Molecular beam epitaxy is also used for the deposition of some types of organic semiconductors. RHEED (Reflection High Energy Electron Diffraction) is often used for monitoring the growth of the crystal layers. the wafers on which the crystals are grown may be mounted on a rotating platter which can be heated to several hundred degrees Celsius during operation. A computer controls shutters in front of each furnace. Such control has allowed the development of structures where the electrons can be confined in space. including semiconductor lasers and light-emitting diodes. are evaporated and deposited onto the wafer. and cryopanels. allowing precise control of the thickness of each layer. chilled using liquid nitrogen or cold nitrogen gas to a temperature close to 77 K (í196°C). In other systems. In this case. rather than atoms. Cryogenic temperatures act as a sink for impurities in the vacuum. the ultra-high vacuum environment within the growth chamber is maintained by a system of cryopumps. molecules. Intricate structures of layers of different materials may be fabricated this way. which resembles CVD.During operation. Other variations include gas-source MBE. down to a single layer of atoms. giving quantum wells or even quantum dots. so vacuum levels need to be several orders of magnitude better to deposit films under these conditions. In systems where the substrate needs to be cooled. .

Asaro-Tiller-Grinfeld (ATG) instability The ATG (Asaro-Tiller-Grinfeld) instability. elastic energy will be accumulated in the growing film. . mismatch size. The critical height depends on Young moduli. Some applications for this instability have been researched. is an elastic instability often encountered in thin film technology. also known as the Grinfeld instability. where the tension can be relaxed laterally. such as the self-assembly of quantum dots. the free energy of the film can be lowered if the film breaks into isolated islands. and surface tensions. If there is a mismatch between the lattice sizes of the growing film and the supporting crystal. At some critical height. This community uses the name of Stranski-Krastanov for ATG.

The whole system is kept in a vacuum deposition chamber. Since particles tend to follow a straight path.g. allowing them to form a solid layer. The coating method involves purely physical processes such as high temperature vacuum evaporation or plasma sputter bombardment rather than involving a chemical reaction at the surface to be coated as in chemical vapor deposition. rather than conformal.. to allow the particles to travel as freely as possible. An everyday example is the formation of frost. electron beam evaporation. Facing this source is a cooler surface which draws energy from these particles as they arrive. commercial physical deposition systems tend to require a low-pressure vapor environment to function properly. so that particles of material escape its surface. pulsed laser deposition. The material to be deposited is placed in an energetic. Examples of PVD include : Thermal evaporation. sputtering. cathodic arc deposition. and chemical reactions are not used to store these energies. Since most engineering materials are held together by relatively high energies.Physical deposition techniques Physical deposition techniques uses mechanical or thermodynamic means to produce a thin film of solid. PVD is a variety of vacuum deposition and is a general term used to describe any of a variety of methods to deposit thin films by the condensation of a vaporized form of the material onto various surfaces (e. entropic environment. onto semiconductor wafers). most can be classified as physical vapor deposition (PVD). etc. films deposited by physical means are commonly directional. .

with vapor pressure practically zero at the evaporation temperature (Tevap = 1000-2000°C). . where the material to be evaporated is fused. Other ways of heating are used.Thermal evaporation technique In the thermal evaporation technique. The assembly of the technique is simple and results appropriate for depositing metals and some compounds with low fusion temperature (Al. SiO. both to allow the vapor to reach the substrate without reacting with or scattering against other gas-phase atoms in the chamber. This is done in a high vacuum. Au. The material is heated until fusion by means of an electrical current passing through a filament or metal plate where the material is deposited (Joule effect). Typical metals used as heating resistance are tantalum (Ta).). and reduce the incorporation of impurities from the residual gas in the vacuum chamber. Molybdenum (Mo) and wolfram (W). only materials with a much higher vapor pressure than the heating element can be deposited without contamination of the film. MBE is a particular sophisticated form of thermal evaporation. an electric resistance heater is used to melt the material and raises its vapor pressure to a useful range. Obviously. such as a RF coil surrounding a graphite or BN crucible. etc. Ag. The evaporated material is then condensed on the substrate.


A magnetic field is applied to bend the electron trajectory. from low to very high values. Typical deposition rates for electron beam evaporation range from 1 to 10 nanometers per second. As electrons can be focused. Cooling the crucible avoids contamination problems from heating and degasification. Ta. The crucible itself or a near perforated disc can act as the anode. This allows to control the evaporation rate. . The electron beam is generated by an electron gun. with a high density of evaporation power (several kW). C. the chance of depositing materials with high melting point (W.). which uses the thermo ionic emission of electrons produced by an incandescent filament (cathode).Electron beam evaporation technique (EB-PVD) This technique is based in the heat produced by high energy electron beam bombardment on the material to be deposited. Emitted electrons are accelerated towards an anode by a high difference of potential (kilovolts). etc. and best of all. it is possible to obtain a very localized heating on the material to evaporate. allowing the electron gun to be positioned below the evaporation line.


The manufacturing of all formats of CD. It is a fast technique and also it provides a good thickness control. The target can be kept at a relatively low temperature. DVD. . etc.Sputtering techniques Sputtering relies on a plasma (usually a noble gas. are basically done with the help of this technique. such as Ar) to knock material from a "target" a few atoms at a time. It is also widely used in the optical media. making this one of the most flexible deposition techniques. since the process is not one of evaporation. Sputtering step coverage is more or less conformal. where different components would otherwise tend to evaporate at different rates.. It is especially useful for compounds or mixtures.

The target atom is knocked out by Ar+ ion. . the Ar will arc to plasma state. the plasma (Ar+) ion hit and sputter the target is the main mechanism in plasma sputtering method. DC supttering use target as a cathode. pump the vaccum to 10-3 Pa. DC sputtering (Planar diode sputtering) : Using target as cathode and substrate as anode. The target atom or molecules will hit the substrate surface and condense as a thin film. With such velocity. the knock force is so intense that it can accelerate target atom to a high speed.The main principle is to build a vaccum chamber and fill with Ar. hit the target and transfer the energy in sputtering the target to substrate surface. Instead of heat melting in evaporation method. the target atom can hit and attach to substrate surface deeply. The ions in plasma will be accelerated towards the cathode. fill argon gas. The argon ions (Ar+) will move towards the cathode with high speed and sputter the target material (the target is used as cathode). It must be a conductive material (metal). By applying a high voltage. apply ~1000 V Voltage. It can't sputter dielectric material target.

The alternative current will neutralize the accumulated charges in target source. This alternative voltage in kept much lower than the anode voltage.5MHz was applied in DC system. This system can also be applied to DC. This will hugely increase the ionization density of argon gas and probability of collision. the electron will move in spiral following the magnetic lineation. Most important of all. . It can also be applied to some substrates which can't stand for high working temperature. An alternative voltage in Radio Frequency 13. positive charge will accumulate on the cathode (target) and need 1012 volts to sputter insulators. Therefore. Triode sputtering : It increases the quantity of Ar+ hitting the target which effectively increases the sputtering rate.RF sputtering : In DC systems. RF. But such high voltage will make arcing and harm the target source and produced film. the positive charge will stay in the plasma zone and not accumulate near the cathode. It will steadily change the positive and negative poles in the cathodes. The cathode can sustain a high voltage difference and continue the sputtering work. It was improved by Wehner in 1955. it can join into continuous production line. Dual cathode sputtering : To improve the speed of deposition rate. With alternative characteristics. dual cathodes are used. Magnetron sputtering : By adding a magnetic field in the system. A ~40 KHz frequency alternative voltage is applied to the dual cathodes. the deposition rate will be increased. Dual cathode Sputtering methods.

. In this process high class laser mirrors and filters used in Gyro and Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) can be prepared. This knock will be a powerful method and can transfer a huge kinetic energy to target atom particle. The ions are much heavier compared to the target atoms.Linear magnetron sputtering Off-axis magnetron sputtering with RF system Ion beam sputtering (IBS) : This method is newest developed and may be the most important for high class optical filters. The ion particles knock out the atom of target and the target atoms pass through the vacuum space and deposit on substrate surface. It has an isolated ion source in a high vacuum chamber.

this plasma usually reverts to a gas before it reaches the substrate. . Pulses of focused laser light vaporize the surface of the target material and convert it to plasma.Pulsed laser deposition (PLD) techniques PLD systems work by an ablation process.

and so leads to more target poisoning. where poisoning of the sputter target reduces the thin film growth rate. Unfortunately the reactions occur with the sputter target surface as well. a small amount of some non-noble gas such as oxygen or nitrogen is mixed with the plasma-forming gas. so that the deposited film is a different material. This means that we can get into a positive feedback loop. .Reactive sputtering In reactive sputtering.e. After the material is sputtered from the target. In a perfect world the reactive gas would react only with the growing film to make a thin film of the required compound. This 'target poisoning' complicates reactive sputtering and reduces the thin film growth rate. so uses less reactive gas. i. an oxide or nitride of the target material. it reacts with this gas.

. oxygen pressure measurements or target voltage. Best performance is achieved by careful design of the system furniture. the magnetron and the gas delivery. target voltage or oxygen pressure. To successfully make compound thin films by reactive sputtering we must stay away from these sudden jumps in the process.sudden jumps in the thin film deposition rate. the control signal can come from emission lines from the plasma. The target hysteresis can be completely eliminated by the use of a feedback system controlling the reactive gas flow.This positive feedback is seen as 'target hysteresis' . the pumping system.

As the arc is basically a current carrying conductor it can be influenced by the application of an electromagnetic field. low voltage arc on the surface of a cathode (known as the target) that gives rise to a small (usually a few micrometers wide). so that the total surface is eroded over time. highly energetic emitting area known as a cathode spot. The cathode spot is only active for a short period of time. multiply charged ions. but larger clusters of atoms to be ejected. This behaviour causes the apparent motion of the arc.Cathode arc deposition (arc-PVD) Arc-PVD is a kind of ion beam deposition technique where an electrical arc is created that literally blasts ions from the cathode. ionization and excitation can occur during interaction with the ion flux and a compound film will be deposited. leaving a crater behind on the cathode surface. or ta-C. Because the ions are blasted from the surface ballistically. The localized temperature at the cathode spot is extremely high (around 15000 °C). The arc evaporation process begins with the striking of a high current. . CrN. and TiAlSiN. then it self-extinguishes and re-ignites in a new area close to the previous crater. TiAlN. which results in a high velocity (10 km/s) jet of vapourised cathode material. The DLC film from filtered-arc contains extremely high percentage of sp3 diamond which is known as tetrahedral amorphous carbon. ZrN. Thus. neutral particles. this kind of system requires a filter to remove atom clusters from the beam before deposition. clusters and macro-particles (droplets). Cathodic arc deposition is actively used to synthesize extremely hard film to protect the surface of cutting tools and extend their life significantly. dissociation. it is common for not only single atoms. If a reactive gas is introduced during the evaporation process. The arc has an extremely high power density resulting in a high level of ionization (30-100%). A wide variety of thin hard-film and nanocomposite coatings can be synthesized by this technology including TiN. This is also used quite extensively particularly for carbon ion deposition to create diamond-like carbon films. which in practice is used to rapidly move the arc over the entire surface of the target.


Electron beam induced deposition (EBID) Electron beam-induced deposition (EBID) is a process of decomposing gaseous molecules by electron beam leading to deposition of non-volatile fragments onto a nearby substrate. and introduced. Small orifice size maintains differential pressure in the microscope (vacuum) and deposition chamber (no vacuum). Focused ion beam can be applied instead. Liquid or solids are gasified prior to deposition. Alternatively. at accurately controlled rate. and the beam is introduced into it through a micrometer-sized orifice. three-dimensional structures. The electron beam is usually provided by a scanning electron microscope that results in high spatial accuracy (below one nanometer) and possibility to produce free-standing. solid precursor is sublimated by the electron beam itself. into the high-vacuum chamber of electron microscope. The precursor material is gas. usually through vaporization or sublimation. specially designed deposition chamber is used. it is isolated from the microscope. Focused electron beam of SEM or STEM is commonly used. . Such deposition mode has been used for EBID of diamond. When deposition occurs at high temperature or involves corrosive gases. but then the process is called ion beam-induced deposition (IBID). liquid or solid.

Therefore decomposition occurs via a two-step process: any materials (substrate.045 nm. Disadvantages : Complexity of the setup and process limits mass production. . Si3N4. and is being expanded. e. Compound materials are deposited from specially crafted. Pd. Primary STEM electrons can be focused into spots as small as ~0. amorphous carbon. diamond. Au. SEM or STEM electrons have energy too high (typically between 10 and 300 keV) to efficiently break molecular bonds. holders or the material that has already been deposited) near the deposition spot absorb primary electrons and reemit secondary electrons having a wide spectrum of energies (of the order 1 keV) and angles. gaseous or having low sublimation temperature. GaAs. Co. Si. Ge. The reason for reduced resolution is wide angular range of secondary electrons. Os.7 nm diameter.g. W.) result in cleaner deposition.The electron beam is scanned over desired shape resulting in deposition of material. Re. However. Ni. Pt. Size of the produced structures and accuracy of deposition are unprecedented. Secondary electrons decompose the precursor molecules. The range of materials deposited by EBID currently includes Al. EDS. Cr. etc. Metal-halogen complexes (WF6. In situ electrical and optical characterization is also possible. The scanning is usually computer controlled. The limiting factor is availability of appropriate precursors. SiOx. electron diffraction) during or right after deposition. Rh. TiOx. Nb. but they are toxic and corrosive. Ru. EELS. The deposition rate depends on the partial pressure and is of the order 10 nm/s. Advantages : Deposition occurs in high-vacuum chamber of electron microscope and therefore is rather clean. The deposited material can be characterized using the electron microscopy techniques (TEM. They are easily available. Mo. exotic gases. and there is no straightforward way to overcome this problem. D2GaN3 for GaN. the smallest structures deposited so far by EBID are dots of ~0. GaN. Cu. Fe. The most popular precursors for deposition of elemental solids are metal carbonyls of Me(CO)x structure or metallocenes. but produce carbon contamination.

the rest of the structure can be free standing.Nanostructures of virtually any 3-dimensional shape can be deposited using computer-controlled scanning of electron beam. Only the starting point has to be attached to the substrate. The achieved shapes and devices are remarkable : World smallest magnet Fractal nanotrees Nanoloops (potential nanoSQUID device) Superconducting nanowires Letter deposited from W(CO)6 by EBID .

but secondary electrons which cause the deposition. Only SEM-like imaging using secondary electrons is possible.Ion beam induced deposition (IBID) Ion beam-induced deposition (IBID) is very similar to EBID with the major difference that focused ion beam. that combines a FIB and an SEM in one. The advantages of IBID are: Much higher deposition rate Higher purities. In both techniques. Deposition occurs in a focused ion beam (FIB) setup. . and even that imaging is restricted to short observations due to sample damaging by the Ga+ beam. usually 30 keV Ga+. IBID has the following disadvantages as compared to EBID: Angular spread of secondary electrons is larger in IBID thus resulting in lower spatial resolution. it is not the primary beam. Ga+ ions introduce additional contamination and radiation damage to the deposited structure. circumvents this limitation. which strongly limits characterization of the deposit during or right after the deposition. The use of a dual beam instrument. is used instead of the electron beam. which is important for electronic applications.

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