Nanomechanical fracture-testing of thin films

M. D. Kriese, D. A. Boismier, N. R. Moody, W. W. Gerberich

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61 Scopus citations


Nanochemical testing techniques were used to quantitatively assess the adhesion of thin film-substrate systems. These techniques utilized micron-scale diamond tips with instrumentation continuously measuring to sub-nanometer and sub-millinewton resolutions. Delamination was modeled as an interfacial crack propagation problem, utilizing linear elastic fracture mechanics and characterized by the critical strain energy release rate. A 9.1 μm thick phenol-formaldehyde polymer film on stainless steel was tested with indentation, scratching and edge-loading of fine lines. Also, sputtered copper and tungsten-copper bilayer films on SiO2, 150 to 1500 nm thick, were tested with indentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Dr Cheng-Bai Xu of Shipley Co for providing the phenol–formaldehyde, as well as Dr John Nelson for his assistance with testing. M. Kriese thanks the University of Minnesota Microtechnology Laboratory and in particular Tony Whipple for his tremendous help with sample preparation, as well D. Bahr, D. Kramer and M. deBoer for their valuable assistance. M. Kriese, N. R. Moody and W. W. Gerberich gratefully acknowledge the support of the Center for Interfacial Engineering at the University of Minnesota under grant NSF/CDR-8721551 and the Department of Energy under DOE/DE-FG02/96ER45574. N. R. Moody gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Energy under DOE contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.


  • Indentation
  • Interfacial fracture
  • Nanomechanics
  • Scratch testing
  • Thin films


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