Before copper will be used in the manufacture of microelectronic circuits, a number of its surface and interface properties have to be addressed. These include corrosion resistance, adhesion to dielectrics, and ability to block the transport of copper ions from the metal into adjacent materials. Different schemes have been explored to meet copper's material properties needed for electronic application. For surface modification, these include ion implantation, plasma treatments, formation of surface silicides, and annealing of copper films doped with other elements. For interface control, most schemes have involved deposition of an adhesion/barrier film. The present paper will discuss our present understanding of the mechanisms that govern surface and interface passivation. Special attention will be given to schemes that might lead to both surface and interface passivation in the same process.
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