Can Copper Revolutionize Interconnects Again?


Electromigration and resistivity present serious obstacles to interconnect scaling, as previously discussed. In a copper damascene process, grain growth is constrained by the narrow trenches into which copper is deposited. As the grain size approaches the mean free path of electrons in copper, electron scattering at sidewalls and grain boundaries increases and resistivity jumps. Meanwhile, incr... » read more

What Will Replace Dual Damascene?


By Mark LaPedus In the mid-1990s, IBM announced the world’s first devices using a copper dual damascene process. At the time, the dual damascene manufacturing process was hailed as a major breakthrough. The new copper process enabled IC makers to scale the tiny interconnects in a device, as the previous material, aluminum, faced some major limitations. Dual damascene remains the workhorse... » read more