Interface structure effects on the fracture of hard thin films

N. R. Moody, A. Strojny, D. Medlin, J. Schneider, A. Talin, William W Gerberich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study we combined nanoscratch testing with a multi-layer aluminum oxide and aluminum nitride single substrate system to determine the effects of interface composition and structure on susceptibility to fracture of hard, thin tantalum nitride films. Nanoscratch tests showed that the film on aluminum oxide and on aluminum nitride portions of the substrate failed readily along the tantalum nitride film-substrate interface regardless of substrate composition. Most importantly, the fracture energies were essentially equal on both substrate materials. These results strongly suggest that a sputter deposited interface structure controls susceptibility to fracture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-636
Number of pages4
JournalMaterials Science Forum
StatePublished - 1999


  • Aluminum Nitride Substrates
  • Aluminum Oxide Substrates
  • Interface Structure
  • Interfacial Fracture
  • Tantalum Nitride Films


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