Real-time TEM imaging of the formation of crystalline nanoscale gaps

Douglas R. Strachan, Danvers E. Johnston, Beth S. Guiton, Sujit S. Datta, Peter K. Davies, Dawn A. Bonnell, A. T.Charlie Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


We present real-time transmission electron microscopy of nanogap formation by feedback controlled electromigration that reveals a remarkable degree of crystalline order. Crystal facets appear during feedback controlled electromigration indicating a layer-by-layer, highly reproducible electromigration process avoiding thermal runaway and melting. These measurements provide insight into the electromigration induced failure mechanism in sub-20 nm size interconnects, indicating that the current density at failure increases as the width decreases to approximately 1 nm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056805
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 7 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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