Atoms constructing an interconnecting metal line in a semiconductor device are transported by electron flow in high density. This phenomenon is called electromigration, which may cause the line failure. In order to characterize the electromigration failure, a comparison study is carried out with some typical phenomena treated by fracture mechanics for thin and large structures. An example of thin structures, which have been treated by fracture mechanics, is silica optical fibers for communication systems. The damage growth in a metal line by electromigration is characterized in comparison with the crack growth in a silica optical fiber subjected to static fatigue. Also a brief comparison is made between the electromigration failure and some fracture phenomena in large structures.
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