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In this correspondence, we propose a procedure to estimate the yield strength of thin films by debonding films from their substrate by elastic-plastic buckling under thermally induced compressive loading. The out-of-plane displacement of the metal lines under conditions of elastic-plastic buckling is dependent on the yield strength of the film. Thus, an inverse estimate of the yield strength is made from measurements of the out-of-plane displacements of the buckled metal lines. The procedure is demonstrated to estimate the yield strength of aluminum lines consistent with the measurements by other techniques.