Electromigration of intergranular voids in metal films for microelectronic interconnects

Amir Averbuch, Moshe Israeli, Igor Ravve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Voids and cracks often occur in the interconnect lines of microelectronic devices. They increase the resistance of the circuits and may even lead to a fatal failure. Voids may occur inside a single grain, but often they appear on the boundary between two grains. In this work, we model and analyze numerically the migration and evolution of an intergranular void subjected to surface diffusion forces and external voltage applied to the interconnect. The grain-void interface is considered one-dimensional, and the physical formulation of the electromigration and diffusion model results in two coupled fourth-order one-dimensional time-dependent PDEs. The boundary conditions are specified at the triple points, which are common to both neighboring grains and the void. The solution of these equations uses a finite difference scheme in space and a Runge-Kutta integration scheme in time, and is also coupled to the solution of a static Laplace equation describing the voltage distribution throughout the grain. Since the voltage distribution is required only along the interface line, the two-dimensional, discretization of the grain interior is not needed, and the static problem is solved by the boundary element method at each time step. The motion of the intergranular void was studied for different ratios between the diffusion and the electric field forces, and for different initial configurations of the void.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-502
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


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