Fiducial mark and CTOA estimates of thin film adhesion

Alex A. Volinsky, Neville R. Moody, William W Gerberich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Carbon fiducial marks are formed during thin film local delamination processes induced either by superlayer indentation forming circular blisters, or by residual stress relief through telephone cord blister formations. Hydrocarbons are sucked into the crack tip during the delamination process, outlining the crack tip opening angle (CTOA), which can be used to back calculate thin film adhesion using either elastic or plastic analyses presented here. Fiducial marks have been observed in two different thin films systems, namely Cu/SiO2 and TiWXNY/GaAs. TiWXNy/GaAs system also exhibited biaxial compressive stress-induced phone cord buckling delaminations. Surface AFM CTOA measurement approach is used to estimate the strain energy release rate increase along these phone cords delaminations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Fracture
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 6 2003


  • Adhesion
  • Crack arrest
  • Crack tip opening angle
  • Delamination
  • Fiducial marks
  • Fracture
  • Thin films


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