Fluorinated polyimide can potentially replace TEOS as an interlevel dielectric in future ULSI interconnect technologies because its lower dielectric constant offers reduced crosstalk, signal propagation delay, and dynamic power dissipation. One issue associated with polyimides is the anisotropy in dielectric constant, where the smaller out-of-plane dielectric constant, typically measured using parallel-plate capacitors, can misleadingly exaggerate the advantage in reducing crosstalk. In this paper, we present a novel electrical technique to estimate the in-plane dielectric constant of DuPont FPI-136M fluorinated polyimide without requiring dielectric gapfill.
A blanket FPI-136M film is deposited over interdigitated inlaid Al(0.5%Cu) structures and the crosstalk capacitance is measured. Identical inlaid structures with air and TEOS passivations are also measured for capacitance calibration. Differences in measured capacitances reflect electric fields fringing in the various passivation dielectrics above the inlaid metal. With the known dielectric constants of air and TEOS, the effective dielectric constant of FPI-136M is interpolated to be 2.8. Interconnect simulations confirm that the effective dielectric constant extraction technique is valid and accurate provided that the passivation layer is sufficiently thick to contain the fringing fields.
To estimate the in-plane dielectric constant, we use simulations to determine the combination of in-plane and out-of-plane dielectric constants that is equivalent to the extracted effective dielectric constant. With an out-of-plane dielectric constant of 2.6, the in-plane dielectric constant of FPI-136M is estimated to be 3.0. This technique is applicable to other dieletrics.