Electromigration and Diffusion of Gold in GaAs IC Interconnections

Akira OHTA
Tetsuya HEIMA
Takayuki HISAKA
Yoshikazu NAKAYAMA

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E85-C    No.11    pp.1932-1939
Publication Date: 2002/11/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Semiconductor Materials and Devices
electromigration,  diffusion,  GaAs IC,  high temperature,  high current density,  

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This paper describes the behavior of voids that were formed due to electromigration and diffusion in the interconnections of gold during a DC bias tests of GaAs ICs to current densities in the interconnections of 0.67 106 A/cm2 to 1.27 106 A/cm2 in the high temperature range of 230 to 260. We have found that the voids were formed at the centers in the cross sections of the interconnections and that gold is left around the voids, which means current still flows after the void formation. We have carefully observed the movement of the anode and cathode side edge of the voids during the tests and found that edges moved toward the cathode, in the direction opposite to the electron flow. This direction is constant. Also, the voids are extended, which means that the velocity of the cathode side edge is greater than that of the anode side edge. The velocity of the edges almost proportionally increased with the current density. The constant edge movement direction and the velocity of the edge dependence on the current density suggest that one of the causes of the edge movement is electromigration. The velocity of the edge depends on the distance between the anode side edge of the void and the through hole. The velocity increases in accordance with a decrease in the distance. This means that one of the causes of the edge movement is the diffusion of gold atoms by a concentration and pressure gradient. The GaAs IC failed at almost the same time as the voids appeared. It is important for reliability to prevent the formation of voids caused by electromigration and diffusion.