Image Number 9 for United States Patent #8470706.
Methods of minimizing or eliminating plasma damage to low k and ultra low k organosilicate intermetal dielectric layers are provided. The reduction of the plasma damage is effected by interrupting the etch and strip process flow at a suitable point to add an inventive treatment which protects the intermetal dielectric layer from plasma damage during the plasma strip process. Reduction or elimination of a plasma damaged region in this manner also enables reduction of the line bias between a line pattern in a photoresist and a metal line formed therefrom, and changes in the line width of the line trench due to a wet clean after the reactive ion etch employed for formation of the line trench and a via cavity. The reduced line bias has a beneficial effect on electrical yields of a metal interconnect structure.