Thermal conductivity measurement of low-k dielectric films: Effect of porosity and density

M. T. Alam, R. A. Pulavarthy, J. Bielefeld, S. W. King, M. A. Haque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The thermal conductivity of low-dielectric-constant (low-k) SiOC:H and SiC:H thin films has been measured as a function of porosity using a heat transfer model based on a microfin geometry and infrared thermometry. Microscale specimens were patterned from blanket films, released from the substrate, and subsequently integrated with the experimental setup. Results show that the thermal conductivity of a dense specimen, 0.7 W/mK, can be reduced to as low as 0.1 W/mK by introducing 30% porosity into it. The measured thermal conductivity shows a nonlinear decrease with increasing porosity that approximately follows the porosity-weighted simple medium model for porous materials. Neither the differential effective medium nor the coherent potential model could predict the density dependence of the thermal conductivity. These results suggest that more careful consideration is required for application of generic porous materials modeling to low-k dielectrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-754
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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