Investigation of a new fracture mechanics specimen for thin film adhesion measurement

Maarten P. De Boer, Michael Kriese, William W. Gerberich

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43 Scopus citations


We have investigated mechanical probing of a precracked fine line structure as a new type of thin film fracture mechanics specimen. An idealized mechanics analysis is first presented. Experimentally, two types of precracks are formed. A thin carbon layer to which other layers weakly adhere creates a "processed precrack" by integrated circuit processing techniques. An "indented processed precrack" is formed by precision alignment of a sharp microwedge. The processed precrack is found to reduce the critical tangential load by 500% from a non-precracked line, while the indented processed precrack lowers the load by 200%. From this, a reasonable value of adhesion may be directly calculated. Crack path behavior is observed to depend on strength of the interface. In the case of a weak interface, the crack remains in the interface as it extends. For a strong interface, it kinks into the substrate if the crack is initially short. but remains in the interface if it is initially long. Given the experimental evidence, the mechanics are slightly modified to quantitatively model the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2673-2685
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by ONR under Grant No. N00014-89-J-1726. M.P.dB. acknowledges the University of Minnesota Graduate School for a doctoral dissertation fellowship. Discussions regarding sample preparation with Dr. John A. Graham of Hewlett- Packard, Fort Collins, CO were helpful. Dr. John C. Nelson provided assistance with the continuous microindenter.


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