Mechanics of interfacial crack propagation in microscratching

Maarten P. de Boer, John C. Nelson, William W Gerberich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


A new probing technique has been developed to test thin film mechanical properties. In the Microwedge Scratch Test (MWST), a wedge shaped diamond indenter tip is drawn along a fine line, while simultaneously being driven into the line. We compare microwedge scratching of Zone 1 and Zone T thin film specimens of sputtered W on SiO2. Symptomatic of its poor mechanical properties, the Zone 1 film displays three separate crack systems. Because of its superior grain boundary strength, the Zone T film displayed only one of these - an interfacial crack system. Using bimaterial linear elastic fracture mechanics, governing equations are developed for propagating interfacial cracks, including expressions for strain energy release rate, bending strain, and mode mixity. Grain boundary fracture strength information may be deduced from the Zone 1 films, while adhesion may be inferred from the Zone T films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThin Films
Subtitle of host publicationStresses and Mechanical Properties VI
EditorsW.W. Gerberich, H. Gao, J.E. Sundgren, S.P. Baker
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: Apr 8 1996Apr 11 1996


OtherProceedings of the 1996 MRS Spring Meeting
CitySan Francisco, CA, USA

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