Electrical recommendations and formulas for metal fill in radio-frequency integrated circuits Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/fb494b422

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  • With increasing transistor operating frequencies, interconnects and passive devices are becoming performance limiters in integrated circuit (IC) designs. To combat this, the interconnect layers above the active silicon are trending toward low-κ dielectrics and Cu metallization. The use of these new materials has popularized chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) to planarize the several interconnect layers. Unfortunately, the mechanical trade-offs of CMP require metal pattern density uniformity and additional dummy metal shapes fill in regions of low density. These metal fills act as parasitics that increase the capacitances in interconnects and passive devices – hindering their performance. This work analyzes and optimizes the parasitic capacitive impact of rectangular metal fills on key passive components. Our systematic analysis of fills below a metal-insulator-metal (MIM) capacitor reveals an optimal design: large, square fills with lengths roughly 40% of MIM capacitors plate length. We fabricated such a MIM capacitor in a 250nm process showing a reduction in the substrate capacitance by half (compared to default tiling). Fill’s impact on interconnects, such as transmission lines, is also investigated. A detailed study of schemes that use grounded fills as shielding between interconnects informs an optimal grounding strategy. The strategy provides maximal isolation while minimizing capacitive loading. In fact, compared to no fills the addition of our metal fill shield increases loading by 58% while providing 58dB more isolation between example interconnects fabricated in a 130nm process. The capacitive impact of adding metal fills is found to be more significant as process dimensions shrink. In a 65nm process the inter-level dielectric constant is 3.5, but the addition of 50% density fills causes the effective dielectric constant to be 5.5. A semi-empirical, closed-form formula is developed to calculate this effective dielectric constant. The formula is accurate to within <1% for a wide range of metal fill densities, sizes, aspect ratios, and process dimensions. This is a significant improvement over state-of-the-art formulas which are found to be accurate to within ~10%. Our high accuracy is maintained when applied to multiple layers with and without staggering. Moreover, we successfully apply the formula to calculating ground/substrate capacitances of MIM capacitors, microstrip transmission lines, and a spiral inductor. This may speed up the calculation by hundredfold or even thousandfold. Results are compared to fabricated MIM capacitors and microstrips. Calculations and measurements match to within <5% for the capacitors and <2% for the microstrips.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2010-06-18T19:57:54Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 GaskillStevenG2010.pdf: 4696023 bytes, checksum: 1b879d92c2b702ef59b51774288b169d (MD5)
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