Sputtered W-N diffusion barriers

Hannu Kattelus, Elzbieta Kolawa, Klaus Affolter, Marc Nicolet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


The thermal stability of reactively sputtered tungsten–nitrogen alloy thin films is investigated for the application as diffusion barriers in silicon contact metallizations. The composition of W–N barriers is varied over a wide range including pure W. Aluminum, gold, and silver are used as low resistivity overlayers. Metallurgical interactions at temperatures ranging from 500 to 900 °C are studied. Incorporating nitrogen into tungsten advantageously stabilizes all three systems. The overall failure takes place rapidly above critical temperatures that depend on both the metal overlayer and the microstructure of the barrier. In some cases, W–N alloys can effectively prevent interdiffusion at temperatures as high as 800 °C for 30 min.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2246-2254
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1985
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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