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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 825195, 7 pages
Research Article

Comparison of H2 and NH3 Treatments for Copper Interconnects

1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
2Department of Electrical Engineering, National Chi Nan University, Nantou 54561, Taiwan

Received 2 September 2013; Accepted 20 November 2013

Academic Editor: Chun-Hsing Shih

Copyright © 2013 Yu-Min Chang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The surface state, electrical, and reliability characteristics of copper (Cu) interconnects after ammonia (NH3) or hydrogen (H2) plasma treatment were investigated in this study. The experimental results show that H2 plasma treatment has excellent Cu oxide removal efficiency, less impact on the formation of Cu hillocks, and less damage on low-dielectric constant (low-k) dielectrics in comparison to NH3 plasma treatment. However, H2 plasma treatment results in a higher leakage current between the Cu lines and shorter electromigration (EM) failure time due to a weaker adhesion strength at the Cu film interface. On the other hand, NH3 plasma treatment without the sufficient treatment time would lead to an increased probability of delamination at the Cu/barrier layer interface since the Cu oxide layer can not be completely removed. As a result, extending NH3 plasma treatment time can efficiently reduce the adhesion failure and enlarge EM resistance as well.