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Controlling Thermally Induced Growth in Sputtered Films

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000087173D
Original Publication Date: 1976-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-03
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Gardner, RA: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Sputtered films of such materials as oxides, silicates and nitrides undergo irreversible growth when heated. The amount of thermally-induced growth is controlled by the sputtering conditions used to deposit the films and by subjecting the sputtered films to a heat treatment. This growth phenomenon contributes to the residual film stress, and the stress affects such film properties as adhesion, electrical properties, machinability, corrosion, etc.

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Controlling Thermally Induced Growth in Sputtered Films

Sputtered films of such materials as oxides, silicates and nitrides undergo irreversible growth when heated. The amount of thermally-induced growth is controlled by the sputtering conditions used to deposit the films and by subjecting the sputtered films to a heat treatment. This growth phenomenon contributes to the residual film stress, and the stress affects such film properties as adhesion, electrical properties, machinability, corrosion, etc.

The amount of film growth depends on sputtering conditions and thermal treatment. The sputtering conditions can be controlled to predetermine the amount that the sputtered film will grow or how much the film stress will change when heated. The film growth or stress can be minimized or maximized, as desired.

Sputtering power, sample bias voltage and argon pressure influence the potential amount of thermally-induced growth. As an example, at argon pressures between 10 and 40 microns and at a sample bias of -100 to -200 volts one can decrease the amount of growth in sputtered aluminum oxide by increasing the sputtering power.

When sputtered films are heated and subsequently cooled, they exhibit an irreversible growth which can be predetermined by also controlling the heating cycle. Films will permanently expand by an amount depending on the temperature applied to the film. Subsequent heating to a higher temperature than previously applied will produce an additional amo...