Thermal stresses are a major concern in the reliability of metal lines. This paper addresses some modeling issues concerning the determination of thermal stresses in such structures. Specifically, a finite element technique that allows one to follow the evolution of the stress field as a function of the steps of the manufacturing process is discussed. In addition, comparisons between several modeling strategies, namely, plane stress versus plane strain, geometric nonlinearity versus geometric linearity, “frozen view” models versus “evolving” models, etc., are presented. A detailed example describing the manufacturing of a copper line is included to illustrate these points.

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