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Title: Current-induced surface roughness reduction in conducting thin films

Thin film surface roughness is responsible for various materials reliability problems in microelectronics and nanofabrication technologies, which requires the development of surface roughness reduction strategies. Toward this end, we report modeling results that establish the electrical surface treatment of conducting thin films as a physical processing strategy for surface roughness reduction. We develop a continuum model of surface morphological evolution that accounts for the residual stress in the film, surface diffusional anisotropy and film texture, film’s wetting of the layer that is deposited on, and surface electromigration. Supported by linear stability theory, self-consistent dynamical simulations based on the model demonstrate that the action over several hours of a sufficiently strong and properly directed electric field on a conducting thin film can reduce its surface roughness and lead to a smooth planar film surface. In conclusion, the modeling predictions are in agreement with experimental measurements on copper thin films deposited on silicon nitride layers.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-07ER46407
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 110; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE
OSTI Identifier:
1466009
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1349360

Du, Lin, and Maroudas, Dimitrios. Current-induced surface roughness reduction in conducting thin films. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1063/1.4977024.
Du, Lin, & Maroudas, Dimitrios. Current-induced surface roughness reduction in conducting thin films. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4977024.
Du, Lin, and Maroudas, Dimitrios. 2017. "Current-induced surface roughness reduction in conducting thin films". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4977024. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1466009.
@article{osti_1466009,
title = {Current-induced surface roughness reduction in conducting thin films},
author = {Du, Lin and Maroudas, Dimitrios},
abstractNote = {Thin film surface roughness is responsible for various materials reliability problems in microelectronics and nanofabrication technologies, which requires the development of surface roughness reduction strategies. Toward this end, we report modeling results that establish the electrical surface treatment of conducting thin films as a physical processing strategy for surface roughness reduction. We develop a continuum model of surface morphological evolution that accounts for the residual stress in the film, surface diffusional anisotropy and film texture, film’s wetting of the layer that is deposited on, and surface electromigration. Supported by linear stability theory, self-consistent dynamical simulations based on the model demonstrate that the action over several hours of a sufficiently strong and properly directed electric field on a conducting thin film can reduce its surface roughness and lead to a smooth planar film surface. In conclusion, the modeling predictions are in agreement with experimental measurements on copper thin films deposited on silicon nitride layers.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4977024},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 10,
volume = 110,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {3}
}