Influence of the ion bombardment of O2 plasmas on low-k materials

Verdonck, Patrick; Šamara, Vladimir; Goodyear, Alec; Ferchichi, Abdelkarim; Van Besien, Els; Baklanov, Mikhail R. and Braithwaite, Nicholas (2011). Influence of the ion bombardment of O2 plasmas on low-k materials. Thin Solid Films, 520(1) pp. 464–468.



In this study, special tests were devised in order to investigate the influence of ion bombardment on the damage induced in low-k dielectrics by oxygen plasmas. By placing a sample that suffered a lot of ion bombardment and one which suffered little ion bombardment simultaneously in the same plasma, it was possible to verify that ion bombardment in fact helped to protect the low-k film against oxygen plasma induced damage. Exhaustive analyses (ellipsometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, porosimetry, capacitance–voltage (C–V) measurements, water contact angle analysis) show that ion bombardment induced the formation of a denser top layer in the film, which then hampered further penetration of active oxygen species deeper into the bulk. This was further confirmed by other tests combining capacitively and inductively coupled plasmas. Therefore, it was possible to conclude that, at least for these plasmas, ion bombardment may help to reduce plasma induced damage to low-k materials.

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