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James Lloyd

Dr. James Lloyd
Senior Research Scientist, Professor


  • Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, 1978
Professional Background:

  • Research Staff Member, IBM Yorktown Heights NY (2000-2009)
  • Reliability Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena CA (1999-2000)
  • Consultant, Lloyd Technology Associates (1995-1998)
  • Reliability Engineer, Digital Equipment Corporation (1988-1995)
  • Visiting Scientist, Max Planck Institute fur Metallforschung (1992)
  • Reliability Engineer, IBM East Fishkill Facility (1978-1988)

Areas of Research:

  • Electromigration in nano-structured conductors
  • Time Dependent Dielectric Breakdown (TDDB) in interlevel dielectrics
  • Reliability issues in lead-free solder applications
  • Investigation into failure modes in novel materials and at nanometer dimensions

Research description:

It is not sufficient that devices can be made very small, they must also be made such that they can operate for a meaningful period of time.  Things get old and they wear out, eventually becoming unable to perform as required.  The physics of the processes leading to this degradation is not always well understood and can be fundamentally different as the dimensions approach the molecular scale. 

In order to design products for a useful lifespan, the physics of failure needs to be well established. This knowledge will enable the design of reliable systems and components by establishing design rules that will ensure a useful lifetime and adequate performance over that lifetime. In addition, reliability testing must be performed in a way that will enable data that can predict reliability over decades to be obtained in as short a time as possible, at most weeks and preferably hours.  This requires the use of "Accelerated Testing" where failure mechanisms are exercised at elevated stress levels and the data obtained is extrapolated to more gentle use conditions.

Towards this end, my research has been into physical modeling of materials degradation and designing testing procedures that provide the necessary tools to predict lifetime and demonstrate reliability through accelerated tests. This includes both developing theories and the related supporting experiments to avoid the sin of "overstressing" where failure is experienced but under conditions that are irrelevant to real life.

Selected Research Achievements:

  • Developed and applied the first reasonable theory of electromigration failure in thin film conductors.
  • Established the relationship between interfacial diffusion and adhesion with electromigration.
  • Demonstrated the role of effective mass in the electromigration driving force.
  • Demonstrated the effect of crystallographic asymmetry on reliability in conductors
  • Developed a fundamental theory of TDDB in low-k dielectrics.

Selected Recent Publications:

J.R. Lloyd, Proc  48th International Reliability Physics Symposium, IRPS10-943 (2010)
On the Physical Interpretation of the Impact Damage model in TDDB of low-k dilelectrics 

R.G. Filippi, J.R. Lloyd, P.-C. Wang, A. Brendler, P.S. McLaughlin, J. Poulin, J.J. Demarest and B. Redder, Proc 47th Ann. International Reliability Physics Symposium (2009)
The Effect of a Threshold Failure Time and Bimodal Behavior on the Electromigration Lifetime of Copper Interconnects  Winner Best Paper Award 2009 IRPS

J.R. Lloyd, Advanced Metallization Conference (2008) (Invited Paper)
TDDB failure in low-k and ultra low-k interlevel dielectrics

F.Chen, J.R. Lloyd, K. Chanda, R. Achanta, O. Bravo, A. Strong, P.S. McLaughlin, M. Shinosky, S. Sankaran, E. Gebreselasie, A.K. Stamper and Z.X. He, Proc 46th Ann  IEEE Reliab. Phys. Symp., (2008)
Line Edge Roughness and Spacing Effect on Low-k TDDB Characteristics

J.R. Lloyd, Proc. 14th Int. Symp. On the Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated Circuits (IPFA), 297 (2008) (Invited Review Paper)
New Models for Interconnect Failure in Advanced IC Technology

J.R. Lloyd, 10th International Workshop on Stress-Induced Phenomena in Metallization AIP (2008) (Invited Paper)
TDDB Failure in Low-k and Ultra-Low-k Dielectric Materials

J.R. Lloyd, SISPAD Workshop on Electromigration Reliability, Vienna Austria (2007) (Invited Paper)
Extrapolation of Electromigration Failure Times

J. R. Lloyd, Microelectronics Reliability Vol. 47,1468, (2007)
Black's law revisited: Nucleation and growth in electromigration failure

J.R. Lloyd, C.E. Murray, T.M. Shaw, M.. Lane, X.-H. Liu, and E.G. Liniger,  Proc. 8th International Workshop on Stress-Induced Phenomena in Metallization AIP Conf. Proc. Vol. 817, 23 (2005)
Theory for Electromigration Failure in Copper Conductors

J.R. Lloyd, E. Liniger and T.M. Shaw, J. Appl. Phys., 98, 84109 (2005)
Simple Model for Time Dependent Dielectric Breakdown (TDDB) in Intra-level low-k Dielectrics

M.W. Lane, E. Liniger and J.R. Lloyd, J. Appl. Phys., 93, 1417 (2003)
Relationship between Interfacial Adhesion and Electromigration in Cu Metallization

Selected Additional Publications:

J.R. Lloyd and J.J. Clement, Thin Solid Films 262, 135 (1995)
Electromigration in copper conductors

J.R. Lloyd, J. Appl. Phys. 69, 7601 (1991)
Electromigration failure

M. Shatzkes and J.R. Lloyd, J. Appl. Phys. 59, 3890 (1986)
A model for conductor failure considering diffusion concurrently with electromigration resulting in a current exponent of 2

J.R. Lloyd, Speculations in Science and Technology, 5, 311 (1982)
On a Quadratic Hubble Relationship

J.R. Lloyd, M.R. Polcari and G.A. MacKenzie, App. Phys. Lett., 36, 428 (1980)
Observation of electromigration in heavily doped polycrystalline silicon thin films

J.R. Lloyd and S. Nakahara, J.  App. Phys.,48, 5092 (1977)
Void growth in the early stages of aging and electromigration

Other Activities

Private Pilot
Aviation Historian
Re-enacted the first flight across the United States (Vin Fiz)

Sculptor in welded steel
Discoverer of Ferrosynthesis
Creator of  Polka Darts