<p>For fabricating an interconnect structure formed within an interconnect opening surrounded by dielectric material, a layer of diffusion barrier material is formed on at least one wall of the interconnect opening. An activation layer comprised of palladium is formed on the layer of diffusion barrier material when the interconnect opening is immersed in an activation bath comprised of tin ions and palladium ions. The tin ions have a tin ion concentration in the activation bath that is greater than a palladium ion concentration in the activation bath. A layer of seed material is deposited on the activation layer in an electroless deposition process, and the interconnect opening is filled with a conductive fill material grown from the layer of seed material. A layer of silicon rich material may be formed on the layer of diffusion barrier material before deposition of the activation layer such that the activation layer is formed on the layer of silicon rich material. In that case, a ratio of the tin ion concentration to the palladium ion concentration in the activation bath is adjusted to decrease with an amount of silicon atoms of the layer of silicon rich material deposited on the layer of diffusion barrier material. The present invention may be practiced to particular advantage when the layer of seed material and the conductive fill material are comprised of copper.</p>
Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan and Lopatin, S., “Tin palladium activation with maximized nuclei density and uniformity on barrier material in interconnect structure”, 2003.