Atom Probe Tomography Characterization of Thin Copper Layers on Aluminum Deposited by Galvanic Displacement

Date
2012-01-24
Authors
Hebert, Kurt R
Zhang, Yi
Ai, Jiahe
Hillier, Andrew
Hillier, Andrew
Hebert, Kurt
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Chemical and Biological Engineering
Abstract

″Ultrathin″ metallization layers on the order of nanometers in thickness are increasingly used in semiconductor interconnects and other nanostructures. Aqueous deposition methods are attractive methods to produce such layers due to their low cost, but formation of ultrathin layers has proven challenging, particularly on oxide-coated substrates. This work focused on the formation of thin copper layers on aluminum, by galvanic displacement from alkaline aqueous solutions. Analysis by atom probe tomography (APT) showed that continuous copper films of approximately 1 nm thickness were formed, apparently the first demonstration of deposition of ultrathin metal layers on oxidized substrates from aqueous solutions. The APT reconstructions indicate that deposited copper replaced a portion of the surface oxide film on aluminum. The results are consistent with mechanisms in which surface hydride species on aluminum mediate deposition, either by directly reducing cupric ions or by inducing electronic conduction in the oxide, thus enabling cupric ion reduction by Al metal.

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Reprinted with permission from Langmuir 28 (2012): 1673–1677, doi:10.1021/la204156d. Copyright 2012 American Chemical Society.

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