Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Effect of Mechanical Stress on Electromigration Behavior

  • H.-H. Chang (a1) (a2), Y.-F. Su (a1) (a3), Steven Y. Liang (a4) and K.-N. Chiang (a1) (a3)


Three-dimensional integrated circuit packages with through-silicon vias (TSVs) provide a good solution to the integration of different chips and help achieve high performance. The signals are transmitted to different layers directly through the vias, thereby enabling the high performance of the chips. Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor-deposited SiO2, polyimide, and benzo-cyclo-butene are commonly used as the passivation layer for three-dimensional packages. In the 3D stacked chips, mismatch of the coefficient of thermal expansion between the passivation material and silicon will generate thermal/mechanical stress in the metal trace and the stress affects the behavior of electromigration. However, few studies have examined the relationship among the external mechanical stress and critical product of electromigration. In the present study, external stress is applied to the aluminum thin film by a four-point bending equipment. In order to apply higher external stress in the aluminum thin film, the fracture strength of the silicon substrate should be improved. Reduces the edge chipping of the test sample is a key factor for improving the fracture strength of the silicon substrate and a special cutting approach is employed to obtain higher silicon strength. A two-step cutting method is applied to reduce front side chipping and also a dicing before grinding approachis adopted to reduce backside chipping, the above-mentioned technology can enable more than 275MPa of external stress on the aluminum thin film and can make the critical length effect more visible. The residual stress of the aluminum thin film is at stress-free state after annealing at 300°C for 10h. The critical product is found to be reduced from 1,294A/cm to 1,281A/cm when 120MPa of mechanical tensile stress is applied. It increased to 1,315A/cm under 120MPa of mechanical compressive stress. Clearly, electromigration behavior is enhanced by tensile stress and decreased by compressive stress. In the current research, a modified equation for Blech condition is proposed with a stress-dependent effective charge number, the effective charge number increased when tensile stress was applied and decreased when compressive stress was applied.


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author (


Hide All
1.Chang, H. H., Shih, Y. C., Hsiao, Z. C., Chiang, C. W., Chen, Y. H. and Chiang, K. N., “3D Stacked Chip Technology using Bottom-up Electroplated TSVs,” Proceedings of Electronic Components and Technology Conference, USA (2009).
2.Roozeboom, F., Dekkers, W., Lamy, Y., Klootwijk, J. H., van Grunsven, E. and Kim, H. D., “System-in-package Integration of Passives using 3D Through-silicon Vias,” Solid State Technology, 51, p. 38 (2008).
3.Kuo, T. Y., Chang, S. M., Shih, Y. C., Chiang, C. W., Hsu, C. K., Lee, C. K., Lin, C. T., Chen, Y. H. and Lo, W. C., “Reliability Test for a Three Dimensional Chip Stacking Structure with Through Silicon Via Connetions and Low Cost,” Proceedings of Electronic Components and Technology Conference, USA (2008).
4.Black, J. R., “Electromigration Failure Modes in Aluminum Metallization,” Proceedings of the IEEE, 57, pp. 15871594 (1969).
5.Blech, I. A., “Electromigration in Thin Aluminum Films on Titanium Nitride,” Journal of Applied Physics, 47, pp. 12031208 (1976).
6.Lee, C. C., Lee, C. C. and Chiang, K. N., “Electromigration Characteristic of SnAg3.0Cu0.5 Flip Chip Interconnection,” IEEE Transactions on Advanced Packaging, 33, pp. 189195 (2010).
7.Lo, W. C., Chen, Y. H., Ko, J. D., Kuo, T. Y., Shih, Y. C. and Lu, S. T., “An Innovative Chip-to-Wafer and Wafer-to-Wafer Stacking,” Proceeding of Electronic Components and Technology Conference, USA (2006)
8.Lee, C. C., Chang, H. H., Chiu, C. C. and Chiang, K. N., “Invetigation of Stress Effect of Electromigration Behavior of Aluminum Strip,” IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, 1, pp. 15581563 (2011).
9.Kahn, H. and Thompson, C. V., “Effect of Applied Mechanical-Stress on the Electromigration Failure Times of Aluminum Interconnections,” Applied Physics Letter, 59, pp. 13081310 (1991).
10.Bandyopadhyay, B. P. and Ohmori, H., “The Effect of ELID Grinding on the Flexural Strength of Silicon Nitride,” International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture, 3, pp. 839853 (1999).
11.Chae, S. H., Zhao, J. H., Edwards, D. R. and Ho, P. S., “Effect of Dicing Technique on the Fracture Strength of Si Dies with Emphasis on Multimodal Failure Distribution,” IEEE Transactions on Device and Materials Reliability, 10, pp. 149156 (2010).
12.Heng, L. T., Fei, C. C. and Subaramaniym, S., “40μm Die Strength Characterizaion,” Proceedings of Electronics Packaging Technology Conference, Singapore (2008).
13.Landesberger, C., Klink, G., Schwinn, G.and, R., “New Dicing and Thinning Concept Improves Mechanical Reliability of Ultra Thin Silicon,” Proceedings of Advanced Packaging Materials: Processes, Properties and Interfaces, USA (2001).
14.Tu, K. N., “Recent Advances on Electromigration in Very-Large-Scale-Integration of Interconnects,” Journal of Applied Physics, 94, pp. 54515473 (2003)
15.Wang, P. C., Cargill, G. S., Noyan, I. C. and Hu, C. K., “Eletromigration-Induced Stress in Aluminum Conductor Lines Measured by X-ray Microdiffraction,” Applied Physics Letter, 72, pp. 12961298 (1998).



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed