Thermal atomic layer etching of cobalt using plasma chlorination and chelation with hexafluoroacetylacetone

Yongjae Kim, Somin Chae, Heeju Ha, Hyeongwu Lee, Sangheon Lee, Heeyeop Chae

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, a thermal atomic layer etching process for Co comprising two steps––plasma chlorination and chelation with hexafluoroacetylacetone (Hhfac)––was developed. The Co surface was chlorinated with BCl3 plasma to form CoCl2 in the plasma chlorination step, and the thickness of CoCl2 was measured using secondary ion mass spectrometry. In the chelation step, CoCl2 was removed from the surface by forming a volatile etch product at temperatures ≥ 150 °C, and the Etch per cycle (EPC) of Co was constant in the temperature range of 150–175 °C. Above 200 °C, the EPC of Co decreased owing to Hhfac decomposition at high process temperatures. The EPC of Co increased from 1.1 to 2.1 nm as the chlorination time increased from 30 to 90 s; however, it saturated with increasing Hhfac exposure time. Density functional theory calculations showed that the adsorption of Hhfac on the chlorinated Co surface is the rate-determining-step in the chelation process of chlorinated cobalt surfaces. The final reaction product of the chelation reaction is suggested to be CoCl2(hfac). The Hhfac adsorption step is the rate-determining-step in the chelation process of chlorinated cobalt surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156751
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume619
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Atomic layer etching (ALE)
  • Cobalt etching
  • Density functional theory (DFT)

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