Phase-Field Modeling of Grain-Boundary Grooving Under Electromigration

Arnab Mukherjee, Kumar Ankit, Rajdip Mukherjee, Britta Nestler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In the present work, we study the phenomenon of grain-boundary grooving under electromigration using a phase-field method. The specific focus of the work is to explore the role of grain boundaries as potential electromigration pathways. We consider the evolution of grooves under the combined influence of capillary and electromigration-mediated surface diffusion and electromigration-induced grain-boundary diffusion. Mechanisms of grooving are elucidated using flux density maps that indicate various regimes depending upon the direction of net material transport. When grain-boundary atomic mobility is lower than the surface mobility, the groove depth is found to be lower than that evolving solely under surface diffusion (no electromigration). At comparable or larger values of grain-boundary atomic mobility, grooving is initially expedited but shows groove replenishment at later stages. A detailed investigation using the phase-field method reveals the influence of an incumbent healing mechanism on grain-boundary grooving which is electrically induced. The drift characteristics such as edge and root displacement and velocity are examined in light of this assuaging effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6233-6246
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Grain-boundary grooving
  • electromigration
  • grain-boundary diffusion
  • phase-field model
  • surface diffusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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