Formation of passivation and adhesion layers for Cu via nitridation of Cu-Ti in an ammonia ambient

Daniel Adams, Terry Alford, S. A. Rafalski, M. J. Rack, S. W. Russell, M. J. Kim, J. W. Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Passivation and adhesion layers for Cu have been formed by nitridation of Cu(90 nm)/Ti(20 nm)/SiO2(90 nm) bilayers and 163 nm thick Cu(Ti 27 at.%) alloys at 400-700 °C for 30 min in an ammonia ambient. In both systems Ti segregated during annealing to the free surface to react with the NH3 and formed an oxygen-rich Ti nitride passivation layer. The thickness of these layers was ∼ 12 nm for the bilayers and ∼ 20 nm for the alloys. Evaluation of the Ti nitride surface layers as diffusion barriers for Al and Cu showed stability up to 500 °C. The interfacial reaction between Ti and SiO2 substrate resulted in the formation of a Ti5Si3/TiOw structure. Adhesion results obtained from a scratch test showed that the bilayers exhibited good adhesion in the as-deposited state and were stable up to 400 °C, but displayed only fair adhesion above that temperature. The alloys exhibited poor to fair adhesion in the as-deposited condition and at 400 °C, but adhesion improved considerably after a 500 °C anneal. The behavior of the adhesion properties of both the bilayer and alloy system were related to the interfacial reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalMaterials Chemistry and Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996


  • Adhesion properties
  • Copper
  • Nitridation
  • Passivation layer
  • Titanium nitride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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