Innovative PEALD Technology Enhances Quality and Reduces Damage with Floating Multi-Tile Electrode

This recent study has made significant progress in enhancing the deposition process of silicon nitride (SiNx) films. Traditionally the process of thermal Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) has faced challenges in lowering process temperatures to meet requirements for next-generation devices. Recent results show Plasma-Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition (PEALD) can meet the temperature demands, and using VHF excitation of the plasma has given improved silicon nitride films. In this work two different plasma sources were operated at the same VHF excitation frequency, a floating differentially-powered multi-tile-electrode capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) source and a conventional VHF CCP source, were used to deposit the SiNx films. The film deposited using the floating multi-tile electrode exhibited a higher growth rate, higher N/Si ratio (better stoichemetry), lower surface roughness, higher conformality in a trench, and better electrical properties, such as lower leakage current, compared to the conventional CCP. This technology has the potential to significantly improve the quality of SiNx films while reducing the processing temperature and minimizing plasma damage, making a potential significant impact on the semiconductor industry.