TaN has become a very promising diffusion barrier material for Cu interconnections, due to the high thermal stability requirement and thickness limitation for next generation ULSI devices. TaN has a variety of phases and Cu diffusion characteristics vary with different phases and microstructures. We have investigated the diffusivity of copper in single-crystal (NaCl-structured) and polycrystalline TaN thin films grown by pulsed laser deposition. The polycrystalline TaN films were grown directly on Si(100), while the single crystal films were grown with TiN buffer layers. Both of poly and single-crystal films with Cu overlayers were annealed at 500 °C, 600 °C, 650 °C, and 700 °C in vacuum to study the copper diffusion characteristics. The diffusion of copper into TaN was studied using STEM-Z contrast, where the contrast is proportional to Z (atomic number), and TEM. The diffusion distances are found to be about 5nm at 650°C for 30 min annealing. The diffusivity of Cu into single crystal TaN follows the relation D = (160±9.5)exp[-(3.27 ±0.1)eV/kBT]cm2s-1 in the temperature range of 600°C to 700°C. We observe that Cu diffusion in polycrystalline TaN thin films is nonuniform with enhanced diffusivities along the grain boundary.
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