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A two-step UV curing process for producing high tensile stressed silicon nitride layers

: Fischer, T.; Prager, L.; Hohage, J.; Ruelke, H.; Schulz, S.E.; Richter, R.; Gessner, T.


Shinozuka, Y. ; Materials Research Society -MRS-:
Nanoscale materials modification by photon, ion, and electron beams : April 9 - 13, 2012, San Francisco, California, USA; Symposium II, Nanoscale Materials Modification by Photon, Ion, and Electron Beams; held at 2012 MRS spring meeting
New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2012 (Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings 1455)
ISBN: 978-1-627-48251-6
Materials Research Society (MRS Spring Meeting) <2012, San Francisco/Calif.>
Symposium II "Nanoscale Materials Modification by Photon, Ion, and Electron Beams" <2012, San Francisco/Calif.>
Fraunhofer ENAS ()

This experimental study presents a comparison of differently tensile stressed silicon nitride (SiN) layers and their response to irradiation in a vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) curing system. Therefore, three types of silicon nitride with initial stress levels of 450 MPa, 700 MPa and 980 MPa were deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). In contrast to industrial standard VUV curing with broadband lamps 220 nm radiation wavelengths, we analyzed the effects of curing with single wavelengths at 172 nm and 222 nm. The samples were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, ellipsometry, and wafer bow measurement. It could be shown that high energy photons are able to dehydrogenize SiN films more than lower energetic photons compared with lower Si-N-Si crosslinking effects. Furthermore, we could show that a dual combined 172 nm and 222 nm VUV curing procedure can produce films with very low hydrogen concentration and high percentage of struct ural units consisting of Si-N-Si bonds. In conclusion of this study, an up to +900 MPa stress increasing process could be established.