American Institute of Physics Publishing
A major challenge for carbon nanotube (CNT) to become a viable replacement of copper and tungsten in the next-generation on-chip via interconnects is the high contact resistance between CNT and metal electrodes. A first step in meeting this challenge is an accurate characterization of via contact resistance. In this paper, the scanning electron microscope (SEM) image contrast at low landing energy is employed to estimate the conductive CNT area inside vias. The total conductive CNT area inside each via is deduced using SEM image with 0.1 keV landing energy and a specified threshold brightness, yielding via resistance versus CNT area behavior, which correlates well with electrical nanoprobing measurements of via resistance. Monte Carlo simulation of secondary electron generation lends further support for our analysis and suggests that the residue covering the CNT does not affect the conduction across the contact for residue thickness below 1 nm. This imaging and analysis technique can add much value to CNT via interconnect contact characterization.
Y. Abe, M. Suzuki, A. Vyas, and C.Y. Yang, “Conductive contact area estimation for carbon nanotube via interconnects using secondary-electron imaging,” Journal of Applied Physics 123, 024507 (7 pp) (2018). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5006874