April 2004

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Electrical and Computer Science


Oregon Health & Science University


Copper metallization patterned with multi-level damascene process is prone to electromigration failure, which affects the reliability and performance of IC interconnect. In typical products, interconnect that is not already constrained by I-R drop or Joule selfheating operates at 'near threshold' conditions. Measurement of electromigration damage near threshold is very difficult due to slow degradation requiring greatly extended stress times, or high currents that cause thermal anomalies. Software simulations of the electromigration mechanism combined with characterization of temperature profiles allows extracting material parameters and calculation of design rules to ensure reliable interconnect. Test structures capable of demonstrating Blech threshold effects while allowing thermal characterization were designed and processed. Electromigration stress tests at various conditions were performed to extract both shortline (threshold) and long-line (above threshold) performance values. The resistance increase time constant shows immortality below Je..L (product of current density and segment length) of 3200 amp/cm. Statistical analysis of times-to-failure show that long lines last 105 hours at 3.1 mA/µm2 (120°C). While this is more robust than aluminum interconnect, the semiconductor industry will be challenged to improve that performance as future products require.




OGI School of Science and Engineering



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