What is electromigration?

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Electromigration is the movement of metal atoms caused by electrons colliding into them, upon electric current running through metal wiring.

The movement of metal atoms in the direction of electron flow causes various malfunctions. Defects include growth of void on the cathode side, and hillocks/whiskers on the anode side. As a result, the wire breaks occur at void, and short circuits occur where metal atoms gather.

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Glossary of vacuum technology related terms