Skip to Main Content
Your organization might have access to this article on the publisher's site. To check, click on this link:http://dx.doi.org/+10.1063/1.365957
Plastic deformation in submicron wide Al-1 wt %Cu interconnects was studied in situ using a straining device in the transmission electron microscope. Dislocation motion occurred readily in unpassivated lines but was nonexistent in passivated lines due to the presence of stiff oxide sidewalls. Instead heterogeneous void nucleation occurred on straining to a critical limit. The void morphology was always near hemispherical and the nucleation always took place at the line edges. Further stretching of the lines led to a rupture of the sidewalls away from the lines, resulting in immediate dislocation motion. Void nucleation, cross slip, and operation of dislocation sources at line edges were all recorded on video. It was noted that dislocations almost parallel to the plane of the lines are rarely observed and furthermore, their movement is sluggish. Based on the dislocation configuration observed in these lines, a generalized geometrical model was arrived at in order to determine the significance of grain orientation on yield stress of passivated lines with columnar, bamboo grains. Frequent occurrence of twinning within the grains indicated that plastic deformation was indeed restricted in confined metal lines. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.