A new dielectric material, developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, could facilitate the use of copper circuitry at the chip level. The thermally stable aromatic polymer has a low dielectric constant of 1.85, good mechanical properties and excellent adhesion.
Replacing aluminum with copper as the multilayer interconnect structure in microelectronic devices could enhance both miniaturization and performance. Copper offers much higher electrical and thermal conductivity than aluminum. Placing narrow copper lines close together, however, requires a good dielectric to reduce cross talk between wires. Unfortunately, existing dielectric insulators cant withstand the rigors of the aggressive chemical-mechanical polishing step used to produce a smooth copper surface.
"We developed an aromatic thermosetting polymer for use as an insulating material in copper chip technology," said James Economy, a professor of materials science and engineering at Illinois. "The material has a high thermal stability, low moisture pick-up and can withstand chemical-mechanical polishing."
James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
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