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Atomistic simulation of self-diffusion in Al and Al alloys under electromigration conditions

The effect of alloying elements on the self-diffusion behavior of Al under electromigration conditions was investigated using nonequilibrium molecular dynamics. The corresponding defect structures were also characterized energetically by Mott-Littleton approach. Pd, Cu, Mn, and Sn were found to be the most effective alloying elements that may retard the electromigration failure by increasing the activation energy for self-diffusion of Al. This increase in the activation energy is believed to be either because of the dragging effect that may be experienced in a coupled substitutional-vacancy defect structure or the energy penalty for the separation of this couple. (c) 2008 American Institute of Physics. [DOI:10.1063/1.2988140]