Irregular effect of chloride impurities on migration failure reliability: Contradictions or understandable?

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Metals can exhibit dendritic short-circuits caused by electrochemical migration in conductor-insulator structures, which may result in failures and reliability problems in microcircuits. The phenomenon of electrochemical migration has been well known for several decades; the process is a transport of metal ions between two metallization stripes under bias through a continuous aqueous electrolyte. Due to the electrodeposition at the cathode, dendrites and dendrite-like deposits are formed. Ultimately, such a deposit can lead to a short circuit in the device and can cause catastrophic failure. Surface contaminants, especially ionic types, may have significant influences on the overall process. Cl- contaminant has been investigated extensively; however, many contradictory statements were published. The role of these contaminants is rather complicated in influencing the formation of migrated resistive shorts: the various effects act against each other. Theoretical explanations are discussed and strengthened by experimental results in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1411
Number of pages5
JournalMicroelectronics Reliability
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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