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We have found that the lifetime of aluminum films subjected to high current densities at elevated temperatures can be increased by the addition of copper. Previous studies have indicated that the failure mechanism is a combination of electromigration-induced phenomena, including nucleation and growth of voids, which are gated primarily by material transport along grain boundaries. On the basis of the present study, it appears that the presence of copper causes an appreciable retardation in the rate at which this overall combination of processes takes place, thereby producing a considerable increase in lifetime.
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