Darragh O’Neill is a postgraduate researcher based in DCU. He completed his undergraduate degree in Applied Physics from Dublin City University. He is currently in his first year of the Advanced Metallic Systems Centre for Doctoral Training (AMSCDT) programme with a main research focus on process development for plasma enhanced metallic atomic layer deposition.
Research Interests (Lay Summary)
Metal interconnects are crucial for low-power and high-speed integrated electrical connections, and key to this is improving nano-scale metallic layer deposition processes. Darragh’s project aims to develop an advanced sensor, suitable for real time sensing of the plasma process used to deposit the metallic layers. The aim of the sensor is to reveal the impact of plasma parameters on the quality of the deposited metal film.
The overall aim of the project is to improve plasma enhanced metallic atomic layer deposition processes through the development of an in-situ smart predictive plasma sensor. Tighter, more precise control over the process is required in order to fully exploit the properties of metallic films which could include thermal, electronic, magnetic and mechanical properties. Optical sensors are most promising for non-intrusive and real-time metrology. The most appropriate plasma sensor signatures will be identified through correlating plasma optical emission fingerprints with metallic layer properties, analysed through XPS. XPS will provide in-depth information on the fundamental properties of the fabricated structures. However, it is an ex-situ technique and would not be possible to implement in a realistic future manufacturing process. Hence the need for in-situ sensors for process monitoring.