An in situ electromigration study has been conducted on U-groove Cu/Sn-3.5Ag/Cu and Ni/Sn-3.5Ag/Ni sandwich structures; the results were used to simulate microsolder joints passing current density of 1 × 104 A/cm2 at 150°C. The solder gap was only 15 μm, shorter than the critical length of Sn-3.5Ag solder. Backstress was proved to exist at critical solder lengths and to influence the electromigration mechanism. Theoretical calculations of the diffusivity of Cu and Ni in Sn solder indicated that the degree to which the dominant diffusion species (Cu or Ni atoms) diffused through the solder line is retarded by the backstress effect. The morphologies of intermetallic compounds (IMCs) were observed, and the grain boundaries in Sn solder were measured using electron backscatter diffraction to determine the kinetics of intermetallic growth. The results reveal that the unique electromigration characteristics of microbump joints, including the diffusivity, morphology, and backstress, can be determined. The retardation of atomic migration improves the reliability against electromigration.