Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 1999


Published in Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, vol. 563 (spring 1999): 181-186. Copyright 1999, Materials Research Society. Used by permission.


A technique for observing microstructure and morphology changes during annealing or electromigration of 100 nm-scale and smaller interconnects is presented. The technique is based on dynamic in situ characterization using a UHV field-emission scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) and can enable full microstructural characterization (images, diffraction patterns and compositions) during electromigration testing. Initial steps in the validation of the approach include in situ electron-beam OMCVD of Al-containing wires and observation of these wires. Although the deposition conditions were not optimized. Al-containing wires, with high edge acuity, thickness uniformity, and with minimum interconnect widths as small as 15 nm have successfully been deposited. In situ imaging of the annealing of 100 nm Al films on 25 nm Si3N4 substrates at 350°C demonstrates that an image resolution of 10 nm should readily be attainable in passivated nanoscale interconnects during electromigration.