Image Number 4 for United States Patent #8039379.
Functionalized nanoparticles are deposited on metal lines inlaid in dielectric to form a metal cap layer that reduces electromigration in the metal line. The functionalized nanoparticles are deposited onto activated metal surfaces, then sintered and annealed to remove the functional agents leaving behind a continuous capping layer. The resulting cap layer is about 1 to 10 nm thick with 30-100% atomic of the nanoparticle material. Various semiconductor processing tools may be adapted for this deposition process without adding footprint in the semiconductor fabrication plant.