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Etch Defect Characterization and Reduction in Hard-Mask-Based Al Interconnect Etching

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Author(s): Hong-Ji Lee | Che-Lun Hung | Chia-Hao Leng | Nan-Tzu Lian | Ling-Wu Young | Tahone Yang | Kuang-Chao Chen | Chih-Yuan Lu

Journal: International Journal of Plasma Science and Engineering
ISSN 1687-6245

Volume: 2008;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
This paper identifies the defect adders, for example, post hard-mask etch residue, post metal etch residue, and blocked etch metal island and investigates the removal characteristics of these defects within the oxide-masked Al etching process sequence. Post hard-mask etch residue containing C atom is related to the hardening of photoresist after the conventional post-RIE ashing at 275∘C. An in situ O2-based plasma ashing on RIE etcher was developed to prevent the photoresist hardening from the high-ashing temperature; followed wet stripping could successfully eliminate such hardened polymeric residue. Post metal etch residue was caused from the attack of the Al sidewall by Cl atoms, and too much CHF3 addition in the Al main etch step passivated the surface of Al resulting in poor capability to remove the Al-containing residue. The lower addition of CHF3 in the Al main etch step would benefit from the residue removal. One possibility of blocked etch metal island creating was due to the micromasking formed on the opening of TiN during the hard-mask patterning. We report that an additional TiN surface pretreatment with the Ar/CHF3/N2 plasmas could reduce the impact of the micromasking residues on blocked metal etch.
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