Inter-diffusion of Copper and Hafnium as Studied by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Date of Award

Spring 2017


The purpose of this study is to investigate the interdiffusion of copper and hafnium. Thin films (thicknesses ranging from 100 nm to 150 nm) of hafnium were deposited on a silicon substrate. About 80 nm of copper was then deposited on such samples. High purity samples have been used in this investigation. The deposition of the elements was done by the e-beam technique. The interfaces thus formed were annealed for a fixed time (30 minutes) at temperatures of 100, 200, and 300°C. The samples were characterized in situ by the x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy technique. To carry out the depth profiling of these samples a controlled amount of the over layer was removed and the spectral data were acquired. The argon ion sputtering technique was used to sputter the layers away. Spectral data in the copper 2p and hafnium 4f regions were investigated. The atomic concentration of the constituents as a function of depth across the interface was determined by analyzing the areas under the curves. The depth profiling data thus obtained was analyzed by the Matano-Boltzmann’s procedure. For this analysis the Matano plane was determined based on the criteria of equal area on each side of the interface. The Fick’s Law second law was used to calculate the interdiffuison coefficient for each of these interfaces. The interdiffusion coefficient as a function of temperature was determined from these analyses. From these coefficients the activation energy and the pre-exponential factor was determined by using the Arrhenius plot. The activation energy was found to be 0.128 eV/atom and the pre-exponential factor was 3.33E-14 cm2/s. The results from this investigation will be useful in the application of Cu/Hf interface in design and fabrication of semiconductor devices.


Anil Chourasia

Subject Categories

Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics