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Two wear-out type failure modes involving aluminum metallization for semiconductor devices are described. Both modes involve mass transport by momentum exchange between conducting electrons and metal ions. The first failure mode is the formation of an electrically open circuit due to the condensation of vacancies in the aluminum to form voids. The second is the formation of etch pits into silicon by the dissolution of silicon into aluminum, and the transport of the solute ions down the aluminum conductor away from the silicon-aluminum interface by electron wind forces. The process continues until an etch pit grows into the silicon to a depth sufficient to short out an underlying junction.