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Article

Electropolishing—A Practical Method for Accessing Voids in Metal Films for Analyses

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KAI Kompetenzzentrum Automobil-und Industrieelektronik GmbH, Europastrasse 8, 9524 Villach, Austria
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Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Jahnstrasse 12, 8700 Leoben, Austria
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Department Materials Science, Montanuniversität Leoben, Jahnstrasse 12, 8700 Leoben, Austria
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: Research Area Biochemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU Wien, Gumpendorfer Strasse 1a, 1060 Vienna, Austria.
Academic Editor: Francisco José Alguacil
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(15), 7009; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157009
Received: 5 July 2021 / Revised: 20 July 2021 / Accepted: 26 July 2021 / Published: 29 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials and Reliability for Microelectronics)
In many applications, voids in metals are observed as early degradation features caused by fatigue. In this publication, electropolishing is presented in the context of a novel sample preparation method that is capable of accessing voids in the interior of metal thin films along their lateral direction by material removal. When performed at optimized process parameters, material removal can be well controlled and the surface becomes smooth at the micro scale, resulting in the voids being well distinguishable from the background in scanning electron microscopy images. Compared to conventional cross-sectional sample preparation (embedded mechanical cross-section or focused ion beam), the accessed surface is not constrained by the thickness of the investigated film and laterally resolved void analyses are possible. For demonstrational purposes of this method, the distribution of degradation voids along the metallization of thermo-mechanically stressed microelectronic chips has been quantified. View Full-Text
Keywords: electropolishing; void analysis; thin metal film; copper; thermo-mechanical fatigue; scanning electron microscopy; poly-heater electropolishing; void analysis; thin metal film; copper; thermo-mechanical fatigue; scanning electron microscopy; poly-heater
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moser, S.; Kleinbichler, M.; Kubicek, S.; Zechner, J.; Cordill, M.J. Electropolishing—A Practical Method for Accessing Voids in Metal Films for Analyses. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 7009. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157009

AMA Style

Moser S, Kleinbichler M, Kubicek S, Zechner J, Cordill MJ. Electropolishing—A Practical Method for Accessing Voids in Metal Films for Analyses. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(15):7009. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157009

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moser, Sebastian, Manuel Kleinbichler, Sabine Kubicek, Johannes Zechner, and Megan J. Cordill. 2021. "Electropolishing—A Practical Method for Accessing Voids in Metal Films for Analyses" Applied Sciences 11, no. 15: 7009. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157009

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