Effects of thermal annealing for restoration of UV irradiation damage during plasma etching processes

Yoshinari Ichihashi, Yasushi Ishikawa, Yuji Kato, Ryu Shimizu, Mitsuru Okigawa, Seiji Samukawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


During plasma etching processes, UV and vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photon irradiation generates defects and causes an increase in interface state density between SiO2 and Si. To understand the effects of pulse-time-modulated plasma on reducing damage, defects in a SiO2 film (E′ center) after etching processes were measured using the electron spin resonance (ESR) method. We found that the density of the E′ center was markedly reduced using C4F8/O2 pulse-time-modulated (TM) plasma etching, as compared with continuous wave (CW) plasma etching. This corresponds to the changes in interface state density using the charge pumping method. Conversely, in both cases, these E′ centers were almost eliminated by H2/N2 annealing at 400°C. Interface state density, however, remained constant even by annealing in both cases, whereas, interface state density when using TM plasma was much smaller than that when using CW plasma. This result suggests that H2/N 2 annealing is not sufficient to restore the interface state density between SiO2 and Si. To reduce the increase in interface state density, UV irradiation damage must first be suppressed during plasma etching. Consequently, a combination of TM plasma etching and thermal annealing is very effective for reducing UV irradiation damage to achieve high reliability in metal-insulator-silicon (MIS) devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8370-8373
Number of pages4
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number10 B
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Oct 21


  • CCD image sensors
  • Plasma-induced damage
  • Pulse-time-modulated plasma
  • SiO-Si interface state
  • UV irradiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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