Effects of O2- And N2-plasma treatments on copper surface

Chiu Chih Chiang*, Mao Chieh Chen, Lain Jong Li, Zhen Cheng Wu, Syun Ming Jang, Mong Song Liang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this work, we investigate the effects of oxygen (O2) and nitrogen (N2) plasma treatments on the copper surface of aluminum/amorphous silicon-nitricarbide/copper (Al/α-SiCN/Cu) metal-insulator-metal (MIM) capacitors with respect to their leakage current and breakdown field. It is found that both the O2- and N 2-plasma treatments have an adverse effect on the leakage current and breakdown field of MIM capacitors. The MIM capacitors with their Cu surfaces subjected to O2- or N2-plasma treatment exhibit a room-temperature leakage current density several orders of magnitude larger than that of the sample without plasma treatment at the same applied electric field. The room-temperature breakdown fields of the MIM capacitors with O2- and N2-plasma-treated Cu surfaces are 3.8 and 3.2MV/cm, respectively, while that of the control sample without plasma treatment is 7.8MV/cm. The increased leakage currents and degraded breakdown fields of the O2- and N2-plasma-treated samples are attributed, respectively, to the presence of metastable Cu-O oxide and Cu-N azide at the Cu surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7415-7418
Number of pages4
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number11 A
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Copper surface
  • Cu-N
  • Cu-O
  • Dielectric breakdown
  • Plasma treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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