Prolonging the lifetime of Cu as level 1 and level 2 interconnect metal in future nanoelectronic devices is a significant challenge as device dimensions continue to shrink and device structures become more complex. At nanoscale dimensions Cu has high resistivity which prevents it functioning as a conducting wire and prefers to form non-conducting 3D islands. Given that changing from Cu to an alternative metal is challenging, we are investigating new materials that combine properties of diffusion barriers and seed liners to reduce the thickness of this layer and to promote successful electroplating of Cu to facilitate the coating of high-aspect ratio interconnect vias and to allow for optimal electrical conductance. In this study we propose a new combined barrier/liner materials based on modifying the surface layer of TaN barrier through Ru incorporation. Simulating a model Cu29 structure at 0 K and through finite temperature ab initio molecular dynamics on these surfaces allows us to demonstrate how the Ru content can control copper wetting, adhesion and thermal stability properties. Activation energies for single atom migrations onto a nucleating island of Cu allow insight into the growth mechanism of a Cu thin-film. Using this understanding allows us to tailor the Ru content on TaN to control the final morphology of the Cu film.
Control of Cu morphology on Ru-passivated and Ru-doped TaN Surfaces – promoting growth of 2D conducting copper for CMOS interconnects