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Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy observations of structural damage in Al0.16Ga0.84N thin film under contact loading

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3 Author(s)
Jian, Sheng-Rui ; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung 840, Taiwan ; Juang, Jenh-Yih ; Yi-Shao Lai

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This article reports a nanomechanical response study of the contact-induced deformation behavior in Al0.16Ga0.84N thin film by means of a combination of nanoindentation and the cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (XTEM) techniques. Al0.16Ga0.84N thin film is deposited by using the metal-organic chemical vapor deposition method. Hardness and Young’s modulus of the Al0.16Ga0.84N films were measured by a Berkovich nanoindenter operated with the continuous contact stiffness measurements mode. The obtained values of the hardness and Young’s modulus are 19.76±0.15 and 310.63±9.41 GPa, respectively. The XTEM images taken in the vicinity just underneath the indenter tip revealed that the multiple “pop-ins” observed in the load-displacement curve during loading are due primarily to the activities of dislocation nucleation and propagation. The absence of discontinuities in the unloading segments of the load-displacement curve suggests that no pressure-induced phase transition was involved.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:103 ,  Issue: 3 )