Cu-penetration induced breakdown mechanism for a-SiCN

C. W. Chen, Po-Tsun Liu*, T. C. Chang, J. H. Yang, T. M. Tsai, H. H. Wu, Tseung-Yuen Tseng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We have investigated the leakage mechanism of amorphous SiCN (a-SiCN) films after bias-temperature-stress (BTS) with Cu electrode. The leakage current became very large and breakdown due to the Cu ions penetration after strict BTS condition. The distribution profile of Cu penetration was depicted by SIMS spectrum. It is apparent that Cu ions penetrated into the a-SiCN film and even reached to the interface between a-SiCN/Si due to BTS. The Cu ions existing in a-SiCN would be taken as trap states and could enhance the carriers to transport. The main characteristics of post-breakdown a-SiCN followed the space-charge-limited current (SCLC) mechanism at 298 K. With decreasing the temperature to 100 K, the Fowler-Nordheim tunneling dominated the conduction in medium fields. However, electrons obeyed the SCLC again in high fields (>3.3 MV/cm) at 100 K. We purpose a physical model to interpret the leakage mechanism of breakdown a-SiCN films due to Cu ions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-392
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue numberSPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - 22 Dec 2004


  • Dielectrics
  • Electrical properties and measurements


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