Residual Stresses in Temperature-cycled Al Thin film on Si(100)

The residual stresses during temperature cycling in polycrystalline Al thin films on Si substrates are investigated using in-situ XRD. The findings show a variety of temperature-driven phenom-ena driven by the mismatch of thermal properties between the thin film and substrate.

Residual stresses in thin films represent an important physical parameter decisively influencing the structur-al integrity and the performance of various kinds of devices. Formed as a consequence of specific micro-structure development during the layer growth and the cooling-down procedure after deposition, the residual stresses attracted significant interest especially in the microelectronic industry.

Since the thermal stress originating from the mismatch of thermal expansion coefficients (TECs) between the substrate and the film represents usually a relevant contribution to the total stress in the film, a significant attention has been devoted to the investigation of stresses in thermally cycled films (2). The experiments on a variety of materials have been performed mostly using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and wafer-curvature method.

Of the wide range of materials and film-substrate combinations investigated, aluminium deposited on monocrystalline silicon substrate has attracted a considerable interest. Aluminium is used as a material for the production of interconnects in microelectronic devices and also as a model system to investigate fundamental phenomena related to residual stresses and microstructure development in thin films.

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