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Fast thermal cycling-enhanced electromigration in power metallization

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6 Author(s)
Nguyen, H.V. ; MESA+ Res. Inst., Univ. of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands ; Salm, C. ; Krabbenborg, B.H. ; Bisschop, J.
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Multilevel interconnects used in power ICs are susceptible to short circuit failure due to a combination of fast thermal cycling and electromigration stresses. In this paper, we present a study of electromigration-induced extrusion short-circuit failure in a standard two level metallization currently used in power ICs and in particular the effect of fast thermal cycling on the subsequent electromigration lifetime. A special test chip was designed, in which the electromigration test structure is integrated with a heating element and a diode as temperature sensor in order to generate fast temperature swings and to monitor them. Experimental results showed that with the introduction of fast thermal cycling as a preconditioning, the electromigration lifetime is significantly reduced. We observed that the reduction of the electromigration lifetime depends on the stress time, temperature range and the minimum temperature. Electromigration simulations using a two-dimensional simulator confirm the extrusion short circuit as failure mechanism.

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Device and Materials Reliability, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 2 )