The integration of copper interconnects and low-K dielectrics will present novel failure modes and reliability issues to failure analysts. This paper discusses failure modes related to Cu/low-K technology. Here, physical failure analysis (FA) techniques including deprocessing and cross-section analysis have been developed. The deprocessing techniques include wet chemical etching, reactive ion etching, chemical mechanical polishing and a combination of these techniques. Case studies on different failure modes related to Cu/low k technology are discussed: copper voiding, copper extrusion; electromigration stress failure; dielectric cracks; delamination-interface adhesion; and FA on circuit-under-pad. For the cross-section analysis of copper/low-K samples, focused ion beam techniques have been developed. Scanning electron microscopy, EDX, and TEM analytical analysis have been used for failure analysis for Cu/low-K technology. Various failure modes and reliability issues have also been addressed.

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