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The grain structure observed is influenced by both the original production
and subsequent grain growth. Grain growth is most significant at temperatures
more than half the melting temperature i.e. T>½Tm.
During grain growth, some grains grow larger whilst others shrink and
become smaller, eventually disappearing. Overall , the average grain size
increases with time.
Observe grain growth
Note: Animation of grain growth is only a schematic replication
of the actual process. Several factors are involved to determine which
grains grow and which shrink.
within metallization lines
Metallization lines are very narrow (approximately 0.2µm or less),
and are becoming ever narrower. This results in the formation of a bamboo-like
microstructure, which is desirable for its electromigration resistance.
Atoms along the grain boundary is most mobile. Due to the
electromigration force acting parallel to the grain boundary, no motion
can take place. This reduces the amount of electromigration flux, thus
protecting the line from electromigration-induced damage.