Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20010019847 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/038,117
Publication dateSep 6, 2001
Filing dateMar 11, 1998
Priority dateMar 13, 1997
Also published asUS6303495
Publication number038117, 09038117, US 2001/0019847 A1, US 2001/019847 A1, US 20010019847 A1, US 20010019847A1, US 2001019847 A1, US 2001019847A1, US-A1-20010019847, US-A1-2001019847, US2001/0019847A1, US2001/019847A1, US20010019847 A1, US20010019847A1, US2001019847 A1, US2001019847A1
InventorsTakeshi Mori, Tetsuo Fukada, Makiko Hasegawa, Yoshihiko Toyoda
Original AssigneeTakeshi Mori, Tetsuo Fukada, Makiko Hasegawa, Yoshihiko Toyoda
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of forming thin copper film
US 20010019847 A1
Abstract
Copper material is exposed on the surface of a TiN film (an underlying film) formed in the main surface of a silicon substrate with a silicon oxide film interposed. Subsequently, a thin copper film is formed on TiN film. Thus, the thin copper film can be formed on the film including metal with high melting point or nitride thereof with high adhesion by means of CVD.
Images(6)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(6)
What is claimed is:
1. A method of forming a thin copper film on an underlying film including metal with high melting point or nitride thereof, comprising:
the step of exposing copper material to a surface of said underlying film; and
the step of forming the thin copper film on said underlying film after the exposure of said copper material.
2. The method of forming the thin copper film according to
claim 1
, wherein
said underlying film is formed on a substrate, and said step of exposing said copper material is performed while controlling variation in temperature of the surface of said substrate within a range of ±4° C.
3. The method of forming the thin copper film according to
claim 1
, wherein said step of exposing said copper material is performed at a temperature lower than that at which said thin copper film is formed.
4. The method of forming the thin copper film according to
claim 1
, wherein
said step of exposing said copper material includes a step of performing thermal treatment for said underlying film at a temperature higher than that at which said thin copper film is formed after the exposure of said copper material.
5. The method of forming the thin copper film according to
claim 1
, wherein said step of exposing said copper material is repeated several times.
6. A semiconductor device with a thin copper film, comprising:
an insulation film formed on a semiconductor substrate;
the thin copper film formed in said insulation film; and
an underlying film formed between said thin copper film and said insulation film in tight contact with a surface of said thin copper film, and including metal with high melting point or nitride thereof.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to methods of forming thin copper films and semiconductor devices with thin copper films, and particularly to a method of forming a thin copper film on an underlying film including metal with high melting point or nitride thereof by means of CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition), and a semiconductor device with the thin copper film.

[0003] 2. Description of the Background Art

[0004] Conventionally, material of Al with copper added thereto having high resistance or electromigration resistance has generally been used as interconnection material for an LSI (Large Scale Integration). However, as LSIs are increasingly reduced in size to achieve as small an interconnection width as about 0.15 μm or less, a problem associated with resistance or the like becomes inevitable even if material of Al with copper added is employed for interconnection.

[0005] Then, to cope with the interconnection width of about 0.15 μm or less, which will be expected in future, employment of a copper interconnection is considered. Copper is relatively easily diffused, so that it might disadvantageously be diffused in the underlying film by thermal treatment commonly performed in a manufacturing process of the LSI. To avoid such diffusion, a common practice would be to form a diffusion barrier film such as a TiN film under the copper interconnection.

[0006] In view of the foregoing, a conventional method of forming a thin copper film on a TiN film will now be described with reference to FIGS. 10 and 11. FIGS. 10 and 11 are cross sectional views showing first and second steps of the conventional method of forming the thin copper film on the TiN film. FIGS. 10 and 11 show a thin copper film 4 formed on a TiN film 3, which has been formed on a silicon substrate 1 with a silicon oxide film 2 interposed.

[0007] Referring now to FIG. 10, silicon oxide film 2 and TiN film 3 are sequentially deposited on silicon substrate 1 by means of CVD, for example. Then, as shown in FIG. 11, thin copper film 4 is formed on the TiN film by means of CVD using for example Cu (hfac) (tmvs) without any particular pretreatment. Here, hfac and tmvs are abbreviations of hexafluoroacetylacetonate and trimethylvinylsilane, respectively.

[0008] When thin copper film is formed on TiN film 3 using Cu (hfac) (tmvs) by means of CVD without any pretreatment as mentioned above, however, sufficient adhesion is not ensured between thin copper film 4 and underlying TiN film 3 as pointed out in Advanced Metalization for ULSI Applications, pp. 79-86, 1994.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The present invention is made to solve the aforementioned problem. An object of the present invention is to provide a method of forming a thin copper film on an underlying film including metal with high melting point or nitride thereof with high adhesion by means of CVD, and a semiconductor device with the thin copper film.

[0010] In the method of forming the thin copper film in accordance with the present invention, the thin copper film is formed on the underlying film including metal with high melting point or nitride thereof. To start with, copper material is kept in close contact with or exposed to the surface of the underlying film. The exposure of copper material is followed by film formation of the thin copper film on the underlying film. It is noted that in the present description, “exposure” is defined as a treatment for applying material such as copper material on the underlying film while avoiding reaction therewith. In addition, the above mentioned “film formation” is defined as a process for forming a film such as the thin copper film by reaction of material with the underlying film.

[0011] It is noted that, preferably, the above mentioned underlying film is formed on a substrate and the step of exposing copper material is performed controlling variation in temperature of the surface of the substrate within ±4° C.

[0012] In addition, the step of exposing copper material is preferably performed at a temperature which is lower than that at which the thin copper film is formed.

[0013] Further, the step of exposing copper material preferably includes a step of heat-treating the underlying film at a temperature which is higher than that at which the thin copper film is formed.

[0014] The step of exposing copper material is preferably repeated several times.

[0015] As described above, in the method of forming the thin copper film in accordance with the present invention, exposure treatment of copper material is performed before formation of the thin copper film. In the exposure treatment, the underlying film is exposed to copper material in vapor phase at a prescribed temperature, so that copper material can be applied on the entire surface of the underlying film with almost uniform thickness. Thus, in forming the thin copper film, nucleus of copper material can almost uniformly be produced on the entire surface of the underlying film. As a result, the thin copper film can be formed on the surface of the underlying film with almost uniform thickness and high adhesion.

[0016] In addition, when the above mentioned exposure treatment is performed with the underlying film formed on the substrate and with variation in temperature of the surface of the substrate maintained within the range of about ±4° C., copper material can more uniformly be applied on the surface of the underlying film. Thus, in addition to the above described effects, as shown in FIG. 6, the thin copper film can be formed on the substrate (a semiconductor wafer 6 in FIG. 6) with almost uniform thickness. As a result, the thin copper film with reduced surface roughness is obtained.

[0017] In addition, when the above mentioned exposure treatment is performed at a temperature which is lower than that at which the thin copper film is formed, copper material can be applied on the underlying film while avoiding reaction therewith. Thus, as described above, the thin copper film can be formed on the underlying film with high adhesion.

[0018] Further, when heat treatment is performed at a temperature which is higher than that at which the thin copper film is formed after the exposure treatment, a composite layer which is formed of the material for the underlying film and copper can be obtained between the above mentioned nucleus and the underlying film. When the underlying film is formed, for example of TiN, in the composite layer, copper exists between grain boundaries of TiN. The composite layer still remains after formation of the thin copper film, thereby further increasing adhesion between the thin copper film and the underlying film after film formation.

[0019] When the exposure treatment is repeated several times, copper material can be applied on the surface of the underlying film more uniformly and closely. Thus, the nucleus is produced more uniformly and closely on the surface of the underlying film after application of copper material. This enables formation of the thin copper film on the underlying film with high adhesion and uniform thickness.

[0020] The semiconductor device with the thin copper film in accordance with the present invention includes an insulation film formed on the semiconductor substrate, a thin copper film formed in the insulation film and an underlying film. The underlying film is formed between the thin copper film and the insulation film in tight contact with the surface of the thin copper film, and includes metal with high melting point or nitride thereof.

[0021] If the thin copper film is formed by the above mentioned method, nucleus density in forming the thin copper film can be increased. Thus, any space between the underlying film and the thin copper film is prevented. As a result, electromigration life time for the thin copper film is increased to provide interconnection with enhanced reliability.

[0022] The foregoing and other objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0023] FIGS. 1 to 4 are cross sectional views showing first to fourth steps in a method of forming a thin copper film in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention.

[0024]FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view related to the problem when copper material is unevenly applied on the surface of an underlying TiN film.

[0025]FIG. 6 is a diagram showing thickness distribution of a thin copper film when it is formed on the surface of a semiconductor wafer as a substrate in accordance with a method described in conjunction with a second embodiment of the present invention.

[0026]FIGS. 7 and 8 are cross sectional views showing characteristic first and second steps in a method of forming a thin copper film in accordance with a fourth embodiment of the present invention.

[0027]FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view showing an exemplary semiconductor device (DRAM) to which the method of forming the thin copper film in accordance with the present invention can be applied.

[0028]FIGS. 10 and 11 are cross sectional views showing first and second steps in a conventional method of forming a thin copper film.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0029] Referring to FIGS. 1 to 9, embodiments of the present invention will be described.

[0030] First Embodiment

[0031] Referring now to FIGS. 1 to 4, an embodiment of the present invention will be described.

[0032] Referring to FIG. 1, a silicon oxide film 2 and a TiN film 3 are sequentially formed on a surface of a silicon substrate 1 by means of CVD or the like. Silicon oxide film 2 and TiN film 3 have thickness of for example about 500 nm and 10 nm, respectively.

[0033] Then, copper material 4 a is exposed to the surface of TiN film 3 as shown in FIG. 2. In other words, copper material 4 a is applied on the surface of TiN film 3 while avoiding reaction therewith. The condition required at the time is specified in the following Table 1.

TABLE 1
temperature of substrate 30° C.
pressure 18 Torr
material flow rate Cu (hfac) (tmvs) 0.5 g/min
carrier flow rate (H2) 500 sccm
exposure time more than two minutes

[0034] It is noted that while the required temperature of the substrate is about 30° C. according to the above Table 1, any other temperature may be employed so long as it allows copper material 4 a to be applied on an underlying film such as TiN film 3 while avoiding reaction therewith. For example, copper material 4 a can be applied on the surface of TiN film 3 while avoiding reaction therewith at a temperature which is lower than that of the substrate, which allows formation of the thin copper film as will be later described.

[0035] Then, the temperature of silicon substrate 1 is increased, for example, to about 180° C. Thus, a nucleus 4 b including copper material 4 a is formed on the surface of TiN film 3 as shown in FIG. 3. After the formation of nucleus 4 b, thin copper film 4 is formed under the condition shown in the following Table 2.

TABLE 2
temperature of substrate 180° C.
pressure 18 Torr
material flow rate Cu (hfac) (tmvs) 0.2 g/min
carrier flow rate (H2) 500 sccm

[0036] As shown in Table 2 above, the temperature of the substrate is maintained at a temperature which is higher than that at which copper material 4 a is exposed. In this example, the temperature of the substrate is shown as maintained at about 180° C. Other temperatures may also be employed as long as it allows production and growth of nucleus 4 b by reaction of copper material 4 a. In addition, flow rate of copper material 4 a in forming thin copper film 4, shown in Table 2, is lower than that in exposing copper material 4 a. Thus, by suitably controlling flow rate of copper material 4 a in accordance with the treatment, larger amount of copper material 4 a can be applied on the surface of underlying TiN film 3 to promote production of nucleus 4 b, thereby facilitating growth of thin copper film 4.

[0037] After forming thin copper film 4 in a manner as described above, silicon substrate 1 is cooled down to a prescribed temperature. Then, silicon substrate 1 is removed from a CVD furnace. Through the process hereinbefore, thin copper film 4 is formed on silicon substrate 1 with TiN film 3 interposed.

[0038] The inventor of the present invention evaluated adhesion strength between thin copper film 4 and TiN film 3 after thin copper film 4 was formed in accordance with the above described method. The evaluation result is shown in the following Table 3. It is noted that in the evaluation, two types of thin copper films 4, which had been formed on TiN films 3 with or without the exposure treatment in accordance with the present invention, were prepared, and adhesive tapes were attached to each of thin copper films 4. Then, by taking off the tapes, evaluation was made as to if thin copper film also came off from TiN film 3.

TABLE 3
exposure treatment test with tape
performed
not performed X

[0039] As shown in Table 3, it was verified that thin copper film 4 remained on TiN film 3 after the adhesive tape was removed from thin copper film 4 with the exposure treatment performed in accordance with the present invention. This means that formation of thin copper film 4 by the above described method can increase adhesion strength between thin copper film 4 and TiN film 3.

[0040] It is noted that a similar result would be obtained even if other kind of metal with high melting point, including W, Ta, Ti, Cr, Mo, or nitride thereof is employed instead of the above mentioned TiN film 3. In addition, the above or later described film formation method may also be applicable in forming a conductive layer other than copper film 4.

[0041] Second Embodiment

[0042] Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, a second embodiment of the present invention will now be described. FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view showing a problem concerned when variation in temperature of the surface of the substrate is significant during exposure treatment.

[0043] Referring to FIG. 5, copper material 4 a is not uniformly applied when there is a variation in temperature of the surface of the substrate which is beyond the prescribed range during the exposure treatment. Thus, nucleus 4 b will also unevenly be formed on the surface of TiN film 3 after application of copper material 4 a. Referring to FIG. 5, the resulting thin copper film 4 has portions respectively having relatively small and large thicknesses t1 and t2, whereby surface roughness of thin copper film 4 is increased. As a result, characteristics of the thin copper film when used as interconnection or the like may deteriorate.

[0044] Accordingly, silicon substrate 1 is controlled so that variation in temperature of the surface thereof is within the prescribed range. More specifically, a heater for heating a substrate, for example of a hot plate type, is prepared and silicon substrate 1 is pressed against the hot plate for heating (cooling). Here, heating (cooling) for middle and periphery portions of the hot plate can be independently controlled, and a contact portion between the hot plate and silicon substrate 1 is provided with increased heat uniformity by employing an aluminum member. In addition, gas is introduced into the back surface of silicon substrate 1 for heating by heat conduction. It is noted that cooling is performed by circulating cooled He using a chiller.

[0045] In accordance with the above described method of controlling temperature of silicon substrate 1, for example, variation in temperature of the surface of silicon substrate 1 is maintained within the range of about ±4° C. FIG. 6 shows thickness distribution of the thin copper film obtained for exposure treatment with the temperature of silicon substrate 1 maintained within such temperature range, subsequently followed by formation of thin copper film 4. It is noted that FIG. 6 is related to thin copper film 4 formed on the surface of semiconductor wafer 6 of six inches, which is used as the above mentioned silicon substrate 1.

[0046] As a result, thin copper film 4 had average thickness dav of 4190.5 Å and uniformity (σ/dav) of 6.6%. It is apparent that controlling variation in temperature of the surface of the substrate, i.e., of semiconductor wafer 6 in FIG. 6, within the range of about ±4° C. for exposure treatment not only provides enhanced adhesion with the underlying film but also enables formation of thin copper film 4 with reduced surface roughness. Consequently, interconnection with enhanced characteristics is obtained if thin copper film 4 thus formed is used as interconnection.

[0047] Third Embodiment

[0048] Now, a third embodiment of the present invention will be described. While temperature of the substrate is set at 30° C. in the above first embodiment, there may be a suitable range for temperature of the substrate. Then, the preferred range for temperature of the substrate during exposure treatment is discussed in the present third embodiment.

[0049] In the exposure treatment in accordance with the present invention, copper material 4 a is applied on the surface of the underlying film while avoiding reaction therewith as described above. Thus, exposure treatment is preferably performed within the range of the temperature at which copper material 4 a stably exists without liquefying and reaction between copper material 4 a and the underlying film (for example, TiN film 3) is avoided. Therefore, exposure treatment is preferably performed within the range of temperature of the substrate between about 5° C. and about 30° C. Most preferably, it is performed within the range between about 5° C. and about 20° C. Thus, copper material 4 a can most effectively be applied on the surface of the underlying film.

[0050] It is noted that the condition for exposure treatment in the present third embodiment is shown in the following Table 4.

TABLE 4
temperature of substrate more than 5° C. and less than 20° C.
pressure 18 Torr
material flow rate Cu (hfac) (tmvs) 0.5 g/min
carrier flow rate (H2) 500 sccm
exposure time more than two minutes

[0051] Fourth Embodiment

[0052] Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, a fourth embodiment of the present invention will be described. FIGS. 7 and 8 are cross sectional views showing the characteristic first and second steps in a method of forming thin copper film 4 in accordance with the fourth embodiment of the present invention.

[0053] According to the fourth embodiment, a process for copper material 4 a proceeds up to the exposure treatment in a similar manner as in the above described first embodiment. Then, thermal treatment at the temperature for example of about 200° C. to about 450° C. is performed for copper material 4 a and TiN film 3 after exposure treatment. It is noted that the thermal treatment needs to be performed at a temperature which is higher than that for forming the thin copper film 4 (for example of about 180° C.), which will be later described. As shown in FIG. 7, the thermal treatment under such temperature forms nucleus 4 b including copper material 4 a, and a composite layer 5 of copper and TiN is formed between nucleus 4 b and TiN film 3. Composite layer 5, where copper atoms exist between grain boundaries of TiN, can provide enhanced adhesion strength between TiN film 3 and thin copper film 4, which will be later formed.

[0054] After thermal treatment for forming composite layer 5 as described above, thin copper film 4 is formed under a similar condition as in the first embodiment. As a result, a structure shown in FIG. 8 is obtained.

[0055] Fifth Embodiment

[0056] A fifth embodiment of the present invention will now be described. The fifth embodiment is characterized in that the exposure treatment in accordance with the present invention is repeated several times. By repeating exposure treatment several times, copper material 4 a can be more closely applied on the surface of TiN film 3.

[0057] Thus, nucleus 4 b is closely produced, thereby allowing efficient formation of thin copper film 4. In addition, copper material 4 a can be applied on the surface of underlying TiN film 3 more uniformly, so that nucleus 4 b is more uniformly produced. As a result, efficient formation of thin copper film 4 as well as enhanced adhesion strength between thin copper film 4 and TiN film 3 is achieved.

[0058] It is noted that exposure treatment may be repeated several times either under the same or different conditions. In addition, when thermal treatment is performed after exposure treatment as in the above described fourth embodiment, both treatments may be repeated several times. After thus repeating exposure treatment several times, thin copper film 4 is formed in a similar manner as described in each of the above embodiments.

[0059] Referring now to FIG. 9, an application of the present invention will be described. FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view showing a DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) to which the method of forming thin copper film 4 in accordance with the present invention is applicable.

[0060] Referring to FIG. 9, impurity diffusion regions 14 a and 14 b are formed spaced apart in the main surface of a silicon substrate 10. A gate electrode 16 is formed on a channel region defined by impurity diffusion regions 14 a and 14 b with a gate insulation film 15 interposed. Trenches 11 a and 11 b for insulation of elements are formed in the main surface of silicon substrate 10. Polysilicon films 13 a and 13 b are formed in trenches 11 a and 11 b with insulation films 12 a and 12 b interposed, respectively.

[0061] Formed to cover the main surface of silicon substrate 10 is an interlayer insulation film 18 a, in which contact holes 11 c and 11 d are formed which are respectively continuous to impurity diffusion regions 14 a and 14 b. Plug electrodes 17 a and 17 c of for example W are formed in contact holes 11 c and 11 d, respectively.

[0062] An interlayer insulation film 18 b is formed to cover interlayer insulation film 18 a, and a via hole 11 e is formed in interlayer insulation film 18 b. A TiN film 19 a is formed in via hole 11 c which functions as a barrier. A copper interconnection 20 a is formed on TiN film 19 a. Thus, the method of forming the thin copper film in accordance with the present invention can be applied in forming copper interconnection 20 a on TiN film 19 a.

[0063] Thus, nucleus density in forming copper interconnection 20 a is increased, so that any space between underlying TiN film 19 a and copper interconnection 20 a can be prevented. As a result, reliability (electromigration life time) of copper interconnection 20 a is increased.

[0064] An interlayer insulation film 18 c is formed to cover interlayer insulation film 18 b, and a trench 11 f is formed in interlayer insulation film 18 c. A copper interconnection 20 b is formed in trench 11 f with a TiN film 19 b interposed. An interlayer insulation film 18 d is further formed to cover interlayer insulation film 18 c, and a trench 11 d is also formed in interlayer insulating film 18 d. In addition, a copper interconnection 20 c is formed in trench 11 g with a TiN film 19 c interposed. The passivation film 21 is formed to cover copper interconnection 20 c and interlayer insulation film 18 d. The method of forming the thin copper film in accordance with the present invention may also be applicable to formation of the above mentioned copper interconnections 20 c and 20 b.

[0065] It is noted that in FIG. 9, while copper interconnections 20 a, 20 b and 20 c are disclosed as being formed through a damascene process contemplated for forming a copper interconnection of submicron level, the present invention may also be applied to other applications. The above mentioned damascene process is described, for example, in “Interconnection Process Employing Damascene Method” published in monthly magazine Semiconductor World, December, 1995.

[0066] As in the foregoing, although the embodiments or application of the present invention has been described, it is considered that the present invention may be applied to formation of a conductive film other than the thin copper film. In addition, the embodiment disclosed herein are all by way of illustration and example only and is not to be taken by way of limitation. The scope of the present invention is limited only by the terms of the appended claims, and any alteration in the meaning and scope equivalent to the appended claims is included.

Classifications
U.S. Classification438/2, 257/E21.295
International ClassificationC23C16/18, H01L21/3205, C23C16/02, H01L21/768, H01L21/28, H01L23/52
Cooperative ClassificationH01L21/76858, H01L21/76876, H01L21/32051, C23C16/0272, C23C16/18, H01L21/76843
European ClassificationC23C16/02H, H01L21/768C3S6, H01L21/3205M, H01L21/768C3D2D, H01L21/768C3B, C23C16/18
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 3, 2013FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20131016
Oct 16, 2013LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
May 24, 2013REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Mar 18, 2009FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Mar 23, 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jun 18, 2002CCCertificate of correction
Mar 11, 1998ASAssignment
Owner name: MITSUBISHI DENKI KABUSHIKI KAISHA, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MORI, TAKESHI;FUKADA, TETSUO;HASEGAWA, MAKIKO;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:009062/0157
Effective date: 19980225