Impact of film structure on damage to low-k SiOCH film during plasma exposure

Shigeo Yasuhara, Juhyun Chung, Kunitoshi Tajima, Hisashi Yano, Shingo Kadomura, Masaki Yoshimaru, Noriaki Matsunaga, Seiji Samukawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the resistance of a low-k SiOCH film structure to plasma-irradiation damage by comparing films deposited by neutral-beam enhanced chemical-vapour-deposition (NBECVD) and conventional plasma CVD techniques to clarify the degradation mechanism of the dielectric constant in low dielectric SiOCH film during plasma etching. We found that the durability of a low-k SiOCH film structure to plasma irradiation strongly depended on the kind of Si-O structure the film had. In particular, a linear Si-O structure was less affected by plasma exposure than were network/cage Si-O structures because of the small amount of stress in the O-Si-O structure. In addition, this linear Si-O structure helped to reduce the number of methyl groups removed from the film by plasma irradiation, which preserved the dielectric constant. Since the NBECVD technique can generate a low-k SiOCH film with more linear Si-O structures than conventional plasma CVD, a film made through this technique has very strong plasma durability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number235201
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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