"In the near future, a newly developed mask set for the semi-damascene module will allow us to further improve the semi-damascene integration
and to experimentally validate the predicted performance improvements,” said Tokei.
The work showed that ruthenium can also be used for MOL contact plugs as vias as a replacement for tungsten or cobalt in a 2nm process. It is mined in South Africa, Russia and Zimbabwe and is a sustainable supply, unlike cobalt.
“Alternative metals such as barrier-less Ru have the potential to further reduce the contact resistance that results from shrinking the contact area. In a benchmark study, imec evaluated both Ru and Co. The results indicate that Ru is a promising candidate for replacing Co in narrow MOL trenches,” said Naoto Horiguchi, director CMOS device technology at imec.
The resistance of a ruthenium-filled via on a 0.3nm TiN liner (without barrier) was shown to outperform the Co filled equivalent process (with 1.5nm TaN barrier). It has also been used as a source/drain contact material for transistors, with low contact resistivity in the order of 10-9Ωcm-2 on both p-SiGe and n-Si.
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