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Electromigration of Cu Interconnects Under AC and DC Test Conditions



Robert R. Keller, David T. Read, Roey Shaviv, Greg Harm, Sangita Kumari


Electromigration of a 65 nm technology generation test vehicle was measured using DC, AC followed by DC, and three rectangular wave DC stressing conditions at 598 K. In some of the experiments samples were allowed to cool to room temperature between stress cycles at elevated temperature. We found that that only net DC time at test had a significant effect on time to fail. AC stressing for one week at 2.5 MA/cm2 prior to DC stressing to EM failure had no effect on the EM performance. A similar result was obtained with various DC and thermal cycling conditions. Thermal history of the EM test samples, and in particular cooling to room temperature, had no effect on EM lifetime. All tests, regardless of thermal history and current cycling conditions, resulted in statistically similar times to fail and distributions of those times. We conclude that the standard test methodologies, using accelerated DC stress conditions at elevated temperatures, are adequate. Since only the net DC stress time had any measurable effect on EM lifetime, the use of accelerated testing provides a good predictor for lifetime expectations under operating conditions. We also conclude that neither low current density AC stressing nor DC cycling, and associated changes to grain structure that may result, provide any measurable benefit to EM lifetime.
Microelectronic Engineering


AC testing, copper interconnects, damascene copper, electromigration, interconnect reliability


Keller, R. , Read, D. , Shaviv, R. , Harm, G. and Kumari, S. (2011), Electromigration of Cu Interconnects Under AC and DC Test Conditions, Microelectronic Engineering (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created May 15, 2011, Updated February 19, 2017