Electron-enhanced atomic layer deposition (EE-ALD) was used to deposit boron nitride (BN) thin films at room temperature and 100 degrees C using sequential exposures of borazine (B3N3H6) and electrons. Electron-stimulated desorption (ESD) of hydrogen surface species and the corresponding creation of reactive dangling bonds are believed to facilitate borazine adsorption and reduce the temperature required for BN film deposition. In situ ellipsometry measurements showed that the BN film thickness increased linearly versus the number of EE-ALD cycles at room temperature. Maximum growth rates of similar to 3.2 angstrom/cycle were measured at electron energies of 80-160 eV. BN film growth was self-limiting versus borazine and electron exposures, as expected for an ALD process. The calculated average hydrogen ESD cross section was sigma =3D 4.2 X 10(-17) cm(2). Ex situ spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements across the similar to 1 cm(2) area of the BN film defined by the electron beam displayed good uniformity in thickness. Ex situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and in situ Auger spectroscopy revealed high purity, slightly boron-rich BN films with C and O impurity levels <3 at. %. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) imaging revealed polycrystalline hexagonal and turbostratic BN with the basal planes approximately parallel to the substrate surface. Ex situ grazing incidence X-ray diffraction measurements observed peaks consistent with hexagonal BN with domain sizes of 1-2 nm. The BN EE-ALD growth rate of similar to 3.2 angstrom/cycle is close to the distance of 3.3 angstrom between BN planes in hexagonal BN. The growth rate and HR-TEM images suggest that approximately one monolayer of BN is deposited for every BN EE-ALD cycle. TEM and scanning TEM/electron energy loss spectroscopy measurements of BN EE-ALD on trenched wafers also showed preferential BN EE-ALD on the horizontal surfaces. This selective deposition on the horizontal surfaces suggests that EE-ALD may enable bottom-up filling of vias and trenches.
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