The work reported here concerns the effect of an imposed current on the creep of simple Sn-Ag-Cu interconnects. The samples employed were double-shear specimens that contained paired solder joints, 400 μm × 400 μm in cross-section, 200 μm in thickness, on Cu. Different representative microstructures were prepared by electromigration and isothermal aging. Samples were tested with and without an imposed current, and at a variety of temperatures. These tests consistently yield two unexpected results. First, the relative increase in creep rate with current was nearly the same over a range of temperatures and variety of starting microstructures. Second, when tests were done at the same temperature (including the effect of Joule heating), the rate of creep was lower under imposed current than under isothermal conditions. These results are explained in the light of new data that show that the temperature within the joint is almost constant, even under a relatively high current density of 5500 A/cm2. Given constant temperature and a microstructure that includes interfacial voids, the current depletes the joint of vacancies, lowering the␣average creep rate, and introducing observable heterogeneities in the creep pattern. The usual Dorn equation then provides a very useful basis for evaluating the change of creep rate with current.
Sn-Ag-Cu current creep electromigration interconnects vacancy gradients