Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sandia Researchers Perform First-Ever Multiple Copper Corrosion Experiments On Single Silicon Wafer

Date:
August 7, 2000
Source:
Sandia National Laboratories
Summary:
In a new approach to studying atmospheric corrosion on copper, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories are putting multiple corrosion experiments on a single silicon wafer in a type of micro-laboratory.

New approach promises to shed light about how copper corrodes

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In a new approach to studying atmospheric corrosion on copper, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories are putting multiple corrosion experiments on a single silicon wafer in a type of micro-laboratory.

The combinatorial experimental method promises to shed light on how and why copper corrodes. Conductive copper is essential to most electronic devices. Its corrosion can cause failure. Considerable interest exists both inside and outside Sandia to figure out ways to reduce copper corrosion and to predict the life of electronic components when it does.

The concept of combinatorial experimentation, where multiple experiments occur simultaneously and under the same conditions, has routinely been used in biomedical research, but not applied to characterize corrosion.

“In the past, whenever we did copper corrosion tests, we would put a piece of the copper into an atmospheric chamber, add contaminants at very low levels [ppm and less], and run the experiment,” says Charles Barbour, project principal investigator. “But this serial approach is very time intensive and we were unsure that the environment was the same experiment to experiment. It was difficult to compare results.”

The researchers’ efforts to understand copper corrosion are part of a Sandia initiative to develop analytical tools that predict corrosion behavior of both copper and aluminum in weapon environments. The investigation using the combinatorial approach is funded by Sandia’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program.

A range of combinatorial experiments have been completed in various environments containing sulfide species and humidity. The results for one type of experiment that used microlab electrical-test structures are particularly noteworthy, Barbour says.

Researchers evaporated a thin copper film onto silicon wafers using an electron beam. They then etched away portions of the copper film using a photolithographic process that left thin “meander lines” of copper. The 16 lines formed “electrical resistors” used to monitor the extent of corrosion as a function of time. The resistive elements were ion-implanted with various impurities such as indium, oxygen, deuterium, and aluminum. During exposure to the environment containing less than a part per million of hydrogen sulfide, researchers calculated the thickness of the copper-sulfide corrosion product layer grown on the meander lines from the change in resistance.

The researchers discovered that indium slows corrosion whereas deuterium speeds it up.

“These experiments show it is possible to use micro-combinatorial techniques to efficiently characterize copper corrosion,” says Jeff Braithwaite, an expert in corrosion science. “Use of the small samples proved beneficial because the extent of corrosion could be easily monitored as a function of time and because all of the experiments could be simultaneously performed.”

Barbour says another important outcome of the parallel approach is that all 16 tests occurred simultaneously in the same environment. This condition eliminates issues concerning reproducibility of the corrosion environment. Thus, the micro-combinatorial technique leads to internal standards for determining relative corrosion behavior.

Simultaneous to running the experiment, former Sandian Jeff Nelson used the Labs’ supercomputing capabilities to calculate how copper would react to impurities actually used in the experiments. Results of the microlab experiments validated the physical mechanism proposed from the computational modeling.

“This finding shows our experimental approach is on the right track,” Barbour says. “We still have a long way to go with our combinatorial experiments and our modeling approach, but we’re moving in the right direction.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Sandia National Laboratories. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Sandia National Laboratories. "Sandia Researchers Perform First-Ever Multiple Copper Corrosion Experiments On Single Silicon Wafer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000807070959.htm>.
Sandia National Laboratories. (2000, August 7). Sandia Researchers Perform First-Ever Multiple Copper Corrosion Experiments On Single Silicon Wafer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000807070959.htm
Sandia National Laboratories. "Sandia Researchers Perform First-Ever Multiple Copper Corrosion Experiments On Single Silicon Wafer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000807070959.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins