Survey of the metal nucleation processes on silicon surfaces in fluoride solutions

From dilute HF to concentrated NH4F solutions

Marius Chemla, Takayuki Homma, Valerie Bertagna, Rene Erre, Nobuhiro Kubo, Tetsuya Osaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As is well known, contamination of the silicon surface by trace metal impurities is responsible for detrimental effects in the production of ULSI circuits. An extensive experimental study of the factors influencing the spontaneous metal nucleation from fluoride solutions on Si substrates was undertaken. In acidic media (dilute HF solution) only noble metals can be deposited. The mechanism for the formation of Cu element nuclei was chosen as a model example. The first stage was the appearance of Cu crystals of a nanoscopic scale, observed by AFM microscopy. These nuclei soon induce corrosion pits due to the formation of a short-circuited electrochemical cell. In concentrated NH4F solutions, the open circuit potential (ocp) of Si samples is highly negative and provides an efficient driving force for nucleation even for common metals like Fe. Our results show that the deposition of Fe is hardly observable when Fe only is present, but in the presence of Cu, a catalytic effect is observed leading to the co-deposition of Fe+Cu nuclei. In all cases surface defects on the Si substrate are generated by the corrosion pits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Electroanalytical Chemistry
Volume559
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Nov 15

Fingerprint

Silicon
Fluorides
Nucleation
Metals
ULSI circuits
Corrosion
Electrochemical cells
Surface defects
Substrates
Precious metals
Microscopic examination
Contamination
Impurities
Crystals
Networks (circuits)

Keywords

  • Contamination
  • Corrosion
  • Nanoparticles
  • Semiconductor
  • Silicon
  • Surface defects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry

Cite this

Survey of the metal nucleation processes on silicon surfaces in fluoride solutions : From dilute HF to concentrated NH4F solutions. / Chemla, Marius; Homma, Takayuki; Bertagna, Valerie; Erre, Rene; Kubo, Nobuhiro; Osaka, Tetsuya.

In: Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Vol. 559, 15.11.2003, p. 111-123.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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