Journal of Applied Physics

Electromigration in Cu(Al) and Cu(Mn) damascene lines

View publication


The effects of impurities, Mn or Al, on interface and grain boundary electromigration (EM) in Cu damascene lines were investigated. The addition of Mn or Al solute caused a reduction in diffusivity at the Cudielectric cap interface and the EM activation energies for both Cu-alloys were found to increase by about 0.2 eV as compared to pure Cu. Mn mitigated and Al enhanced Cu grain boundary diffusion; however, no significant mitigation in Cu grain boundary diffusion was observed in low Mn concentration samples. The activation energies for Cu grain boundary diffusion were found to be 0.74 ± 0.05 eV and 0.77 ± 0.05 eV for 1.5 μm wide polycrystalline lines with pure Cu and Cu (0.5 at.% Mn) seeds, respectively. The effective charge number in Cu grain boundaries Z* GB was estimated from drift velocity and was found to be about -0.4. A significant enhancement in EM lifetimes for Cu(Al) or low Mn concentration bamboo-polycrystalline and near-bamboo grain structures was observed but not for polycrystalline-only alloy lines. These results indicated that the existence of bamboo grains in bamboo-polycrystalline lines played a critical role in slowing down the EM-induced void growth rate. The bamboo grains act as Cu diffusion blocking boundaries for grain boundary mass flow, thus generating a mechanical stress-induced back flow counterbalancing the EM force, which is the equality known as the Blech short length effect. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.