Breakdown Experiments

Juan Pablo Borja, Toh Ming Lu, Joel Plawsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this section a set of dynamic applied field experiments are presented. We designed these experiments to study intrinsic and metal-catalyzed failure. Techniques such as ramped voltage sweeps and bipolar applied field tests are utilized to characterize fundamental aspects of breakdown in thin low-κ films. We studied intrinsic breakdown using inert (Au) and self-limiting electrodes (Al). Metal-catalyzed failure was investigated by employing reactive electrodes such as Cu and Ag, and we present a model for the transport of ionic species and their impact on dielectric failure. The motion of ions is correlated with field form, polarity, and magnitude. This chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the impact of plasma treatments and moisture on dielectric breakdown and its fundamental failure mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringerBriefs in Materials
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpringerBriefs in Materials
ISSN (Print)2192-1091
ISSN (Electronic)2192-1105

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, The Author(s).


  • Bipolar field
  • Copper
  • Dielectric breakdown
  • Electrode
  • Ion
  • Metal
  • Moisture
  • Plasma damage
  • Ramped voltage
  • Reactive


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