In this study, a novel method is explored for improving the electromigration lifetime of Cu wires, using Ta implantation into Cu. For high implant doses (2E15 cm−2), the electromigration lifetime is improved by over 5X using this method. An increase in lifetime is achieved, even for an average surface concentration of Ta on the order of 0.1 atm%. We propose that the improvement in electromigration lifetime is due to the reduction of defects at the SiN/Cu interface due to the presence of Ta. The line-to-line leakage at high voltages (> 5V) increases with the Ta implant, with higher leakage at higher Ta concentrations, so the Ta dose must be limited to avoid excessive leakage.