Effectiveness of high energy ion beam techniques for the characterization of mesoporous low dielectric-constant materials

S. Thevuthasan, S. Baskaran, K. Domansky, J. Liu, M. Engelhard

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Highly porous silica films can potentially reduce power dissipation, cross talk, and interconnection delay in the deep submicron regime of semiconductor devices. We have synthesized 'mesoporous' silica films using both cationic and non-ionic surfactants to template porosity in spin-on sol-gel silica. During this development we have effectively used high-energy ion beam techniques along with optical profilometry to characterize the porosity of these films. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), and 16O(d, p1)17O nuclear reaction were used to determine the total number of Si and O atoms in the films. Interaction of these films with water was characterized by the 1H(19F, αγ)16O resonant nuclear reaction. Combination of these techniques provides fast, accurate, and quantitative methods for characterizing these films. However, the high-energy ion beams appear to cause significant damage in the films. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements from the ion beam interacted region show a tail in the low binding energy side of the Si 2p core level spectrum which is characteristic to metal Si. In addition, craters as deep as 175 nm were left in the films where the ion beams interacted with the material.


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Instrumentation

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