Characterization of Magnetron-Sputtered Partially Ionized Deposition as a Function of Metal and Gas Species

May 1, 2000

J. Vac. Sci. Technol., A, 13, 797-801 (2000).

Allain, M. M. C., Hayden, D. B., Juliano, D. R., Ruzic, D. N.

Conventional magnetron sputter deposition with a rf inductively coupled plasma (ICP) has demonstrated that ionized metal fluxes can be effectively utilized to fill trenches and vias with high aspect ratios. The ICP is created with a seven turn (1/2 wavelength), water cooled coil located between the magnetron cathode and the substrate. A large fraction of the metal atoms sputtered from the magnetron cathode are ionized by the ICP. These ions are accelerated across the sheath toward the substrate and deposited at normal incidence, by placing a negative bias on the substrate. A gridded energy analyzer configured with a quartz crystal microbalance is located in the center of the substrate plane to determine the ion and neutral deposition rates. While keeping the magnetron power, rf coil, target to substrate distance, pressure and diagnostic location constant, the ionization fraction was measured for two metal targets: Cu and Ti using three different working gases: Kr, Ar and Ne. Variations in target materials and working gases are shown to have an effect on ionization and deposition rates. The ionization rate is a sensitive function of the metal’s ionization potential. The electron energy distribution in the plasma is affected by the sputtered metal and the working gases’ ionization potential.