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A new technique for measuring the mechanical properties of thin films

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3 Author(s)
Sharpe, W.N., Jr. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD, USA ; Yuan, Bin ; Edwards, R.L.

Accurate measurement of mechanical properties is very difficult for films that are only a few microns thick. Previously, these properties have been determined by indirect methods such as cantilever beam and diaphragm bulge tests. This paper presents a new technique to measure the Young's modulus of thin films in a direct manner consistent with its definition. Strain is measured by a laser-based technique that enables direct and accurate recording of strain on a thin-film specimen. Load is recorded with a 1-lb load cell, and an air bearing is used to eliminate friction in the loading system. The specimen is phosphorus-doped polysilicon that has a gage cross section of 3.5 μm thick by 600 μm wide. All 29 uniaxial tensile tests show brittle behavior, and the average values of Young's modulus and fracture strength are measured to be 170±6.7 GPa and 1.21±0.16 GPa, respectively. One fatigue test is also reported in this paper

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 3 )