Quantitative modeling and measurement of copper thin film adhesion

A. A. Volinsky, N. I. Tymiak, M. D. Kriese, William W Gerberich, J. W. Hutchinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Numerous mechanisms have been identified as fundamental to the adhesion of thin metallic films. The primary mechanism is the thermodynamic work of adhesion of the interface, which in its most basic description is the difference between the surface energies of the two materials and that of the interface. This quantity is often described as leveraging the contributions of other mechanisms. One of the more important mechanisms is that of plasticity occurring in a process zone in the vicinity of the delamination boundary. A quantitative model to characterize the contributions of plastic energy dissipation has been developed and used to rationalize experimental adhesion assessments. This model incorporates the functional dependence of the film thickness and constitutive properties. Orders of magnitude increases in the practical work of adhesion were both observed and predicted. Experimentally, the films used for model comparison were sputter-deposited copper ranging from 40 to 3300 nm in thickness, with and without a thin 10 nm Ti underlayer. Nanoindentation induced delamination of the Cu from SiO2/Si wafers were evaluated in the context of composite laminate theory to determine adhesion energies ranging from 0.6 to 100 J/m2 for bare Cu and from 4 to 110 J/m2 for Cu with the Ti underlayer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-289
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


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