W-Si-N thin films were deposited via rf-magnetron sputtering from a W5Si3 target in Ar/N-2 reactive gas mixtures over a large range of compositions, obtained by varying the partial flow of nitrogen within the reaction chamber. The samples of each set were then thermally annealed in vacuum at different temperatures up to 980 degreesC. Film composition was determined by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), surface film morphology by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), micro-structure by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), vibrational properties by FT-IR absorption and Raman scattering spectroscopy, and electrical resistivity by four-point probe measurements. Independently of the deposition conditions, all the as-deposited films have an amorphous structure, while their composition varies, showing an increase of Si/W ratio from 0.1 up to 0.55 when the nitrogen concentration in the films increases from 0 to 60 at%. Thermal treatments in vacuum induce an important loss of nitrogen in the nitrogen-rich samples, especially at temperatures higher than 600 degreesC. Samples with high nitrogen content preserve their amorphous structure even at the highest annealing temperature, despite the chemical bonding ordering observed by means of FTIR measurements. Raman spectroscopy of as-deposited films rich in nitrogen suggests the presence of an important amorphous silicon nitride component, but fails to detect any structural rearrangement either within the composite matrix of film or within silicon nitride component. Segregation of metallic tungsten was detected by TEM in the annealed sample with lowest nitrogen content (W58Si21N21). Finally, the resistivity of the films increases with the N content, while the loss of nitrogen accompanies the decrease of resistivity especially of samples with high nitrogen content.
Effects of thermal annealing on the structural properties of sputtered W-Si-N diffusion barriers / Vomiero, A.; Marchi, Eb; Frabboni, Stefano; Quaranta, A.; Della Mea, G.; Mariotto, G.; Felisari, L.; Butturi, M.. - In: MATERIALS SCIENCE IN SEMICONDUCTOR PROCESSING. - ISSN 1369-8001. - STAMPA. - 7:(2004), pp. 325-330. [10.1016/j.mssp.2004.09.110]