Fracture toughness of silicon and thin film micro-structures by wedge indentation

M. P. de Boer, He Huang, J. C. Nelson, Z. P. Jiang, William W Gerberich

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Silicon rooftop structures 20 μm high and of 1 μm linewidth were fabricated in a microelectronics facility using anisotropic KOH etching. Alyminum-1% silicon was sputtering deposited to investigate the effects of a ductile thin film on the fracture toughness of a brittle material. The rooftop structures were indented by a Knoop indenter purposely placed off-center so that the indenter was wedge-shaped. Deformation and cracks were photographed by SEM. Crack threshold load per unit width are reported for normal cracks, running perpendicular to the roofline. Fracture toughness is calculated by first order approximation and finite element modeling using SEM measurements of the length of normal cracks. Without a thin film, values for silicon are in reasonable agreement with the literature. With a thin film of only 600 A, fracture toughness is increased by 45%. Cracks nearly parallel to the roofline also appeared at higher load values. Characteristics of both types of cracks are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-652
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993
EventProceedings of the 1993 Spring Meeting of the Materials Research Society - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: Apr 12 1993Apr 16 1993


Dive into the research topics of 'Fracture toughness of silicon and thin film micro-structures by wedge indentation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this