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Browse Prior Art Database

Electromigration Fuse

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000043464D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 52K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Horstmann, RE: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A fuse or current-limiting device for discrete electronic components is provided. The device is electrically in series and physically contiguous to the component and utilizes the heat generated by the component, if the component enters a runaway failure mode, to increase electromigration in a restriction, which in turn creates a high resistance current path or an open circuit. For example, in the case of a multilayer capacitor shown in the figure, an extra layer 1 is added to the capacitor 2 which contains a conducting area 3 in series with the top electrode 4 of the capacitor. This conducting area has a restriction 5, the area of which is governed by the conductivity of the metal, the thermal resistance of the capacitor, the maximum safe operating temperature of the capacitor and the electromigration rate vs.

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Electromigration Fuse

A fuse or current-limiting device for discrete electronic components is provided. The device is electrically in series and physically contiguous to the component and utilizes the heat generated by the component, if the component enters a runaway failure mode, to increase electromigration in a restriction, which in turn creates a high resistance current path or an open circuit. For example, in the case of a multilayer capacitor shown in the figure, an extra layer 1 is added to the capacitor 2 which contains a conducting area 3 in series with the top electrode 4 of the capacitor. This conducting area has a restriction 5, the area of which is governed by the conductivity of the metal, the thermal resistance of the capacitor, the maximum safe operating temperature of the capacitor and the electromigration rate vs. temperature characteristics of the metal. If the capacitor begins to generate heat due to incipient failure, the heat will cause the temperature of the added layer to rise, increasing the metal electromigration rate in the restriction. The increased migration will cause an increase in the resistivity in the restriction, limiting the current and causing the capacitor to remain at a safe temperature. In extreme cases, the increased metal migration will cause an open in the restricted area, breaking the circuit to the capacitor.

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