Understanding Electromigration in Cu-CNT Composite Interconnects: A Multiscale Electrothermal Simulation Study

Jaehyun Lee, Salim Berrada, Fikru Adamu-Lema, Nicole Nagy, Vihar P. Georgiev, Toufik Sadi, Jie Liang, Raphael Ramos, Hamilton Carrillo-Nunez, Dipankar Kalita, Katharina Lilienthal, Marcus Wislicenus, Reeturaj Pandey, Bingan Chen, Kenneth B.K. Teo, Goncalo Goncalves, Hanako Okuno, Benjamin Uhlig, Aida Todri-Sanial, Jean DijonAsen Asenov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In this paper, we report a hierarchical simulation study of the electromigration (EM) problem in Cu-carbon nanotube (CNT) composite interconnects. This paper is based on the investigation of the activation energy and self-heating temperature using a multiscale electrothermal simulation framework. We first investigate the electrical and thermal properties of Cu-CNT composites, including contact resistances, using the density functional theory and reactive force field approaches, respectively. The corresponding results are employed in macroscopic electrothermal simulations taking into account the self-heating phenomenon. Our simulations show that although Cu atoms have similar activation energies in both bulk Cu and Cu-CNT composites, Cu-CNT composite interconnects are more resistant to EM thanks to the large Lorenz number of the CNTs. Moreover, we found that a large and homogenous conductivity along the transport direction in interconnects is one of the most important design rules to minimize the EM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3884-3892
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Conductivity
  • Contacts
  • Cu-carbon nanotubes (CNT) composites
  • density functional theory (DFT)
  • Discrete Fourier transforms
  • Electromigration
  • electromigration (EM)
  • electrothermal
  • interconnects
  • Lattices
  • multiscale simulation
  • Resistance
  • self-heating.
  • Thermal conductivity


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