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New Product: Applied Endura CuBS PreClean system preserves integrity of ultra-low k films

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AMATProduct Briefing Outline: Applied Materials has made a significant enhancement to its Applied ‘Endura CuBS' (copper barrier/seed) system with the new ‘Aktiv' Preclean chamber, extending its capabilities for the  45nm node copper-low k interconnect process schemes. In addition to effectively removing polymeric residues and copper oxide from the interconnect, the Aktiv Preclean chamber is claimed to be the first preclean technology that effectively preserves the integrity of ultra-low k (k less than or equal to 2.5) dielectrics, resulting in up to 10% improvement in RC delay over previous reactive preclean technologies.

Conventional preclean technology can raise the k-value of ultra-low k films by as much as 20%. To address the increasing importance of interfaces as geometries shrink, Applied offers various preclean technologies to ensure interface integrity without impact to critical dimensions or material properties. The Aktiv Preclean chamber is claimed to provide efficient removal of polymeric residues and reduction of CuO while protecting porous low k inter-level dielectric (ILD) films, such as Black Diamond II. Unlike conventional reactive preclean methods, the Aktiv Preclean process results in no significant change in k-value, thus enabling the transition to next-generation low k dielectrics.

Solution: The Applied Aktiv Preclean chamber provides a benign clean process before depositing the barrier and Cu seed layer in copper interconnects. Its highly reactive hydrogen radicals gently clean complex interconnect stacks, assuring low via and line resistance and increasing parametric yield. The design of the Aktiv Preclean chamber reduces defects and enables up to 30,000 wafers between maintenance cycles, an increase of up to 3x over reactive preclean chambers, according to the company.

Applications: Pre-clean ultra-low k dielectrics.

Platform: The Applied Endura CuBS PVD system sequentially deposits the Ta(N)/Ta barrier followed by the Cu seed layer under high-vacuum conditions.

Availability: July 2006 onwards.


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