Effect of silicon surface termination on copper deposition in deionized water

Sang Woo Lim, Renée T. Mo, Piero A. Pianetta, Christopher E.D. Chidsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The prevention of metal contamination on silicon wafer surfaces is a stringent issue in the semiconductor fabrication industry, because metals induce device degradation. Particularly, it has been reported that Cu contaminants on silicon surfaces deteriorate the integrity of gate oxide formed on that surface. We have investigated the relationship between Cu deposition and silicon surface termination in order to suggest a way to suppress Cu contamination during the wafer cleaning process. The effect of the microroughness and kink site density of silicon (111) and (100) surfaces on Cu deposition has been elucidated, using as a model system hydrogen-terminated samples exposed to deionized water with a known amount of dissolved Cu2+ to simulate a contaminated rinse bath. Under identical contamination conditions, the hydrogen-terminated Si(111) surface [H-Si(111)] with its flat monohydride terraces has an order-of-magnitude lower Cu coverage than the microscopically rough, hydrogen-terminated Si(100) surface [Hx-Si(100)]. Si(111) wafers that were misoriented between 1 and 8° from the (111) plane toward the (110) plane were used to investigate the effect of step density on Cu deposition. The results showed the change in Cu coverage as a function of step density on H-Si(111) surfaces was negligible compared to that shown between H-Si(111) and Hx-Si(100) surfaces. We suggest that the difference in the densities of dihydride (Si-H2) sites on the H-Si(111) and Hx-Si(100) surfaces is the cause of the difference in Cu coverage. The dihydride densities of misoriented H-Si(111) surfaces are expected to be very low compared with those on Hx-Si(100). Hydrogen and methoxy-terminated surfaces were also compared to understand the effect of alternative terminations on Cu nucleation. The methoxy-terminated Si(100) surface had lower Cu coverage than Hx-Si(100). Deactivation of dihydride sites on the methoxy-terminated surface may be the reason for its better resistance to Cu contaminants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C16-C20
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of silicon surface termination on copper deposition in deionized water'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this