Skip to main content Accessibility help

Evaluation of the modified edge lift-off test for adhesion characterization in microelectronic multifilm applications

  • Jack C. Hay (a1), Eric G. Liniger (a2) and Xiao Hu Liu (a2)


The modified edge lift-off test (MELT) has gained enough acceptance in the community for evaluating interfacial adhesion that there is now commercial equipment for automating the test. However, there are several experimental and mechanics assumptions of the test that may provide unexpected outcomes. Experimental data suggested that for crack lengths greater than 5% of the film thickness the energy release rate was independent of crack length, contradicting the rule of thumb suggesting that the crack length should be greater than 10–20 times the film thickness to obtain a steady-state energy release rate in the edge crack problem. Finite element simulations not only corroborated the experimental observation but seemed to indicate that the crack length required for steady-state conditions was a function of the relative Young's moduli for the film and substrate. It was also shown via an analytical model that plate bending (commonly neglected) can significantly affect the energy release rate in the MELT and lead to incorrect conclusions regarding the reliability of an interface.


Corresponding author

a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:


Hide All
1.Hutchinson, J.W. and Suo, Z., Adv. Appl. Mech. 29, 63 (1992).
2.Evans, A.G., Ruhle, M., Dalgleish, B.J., and Charalambides, P.G., Metall. Trans. 21A, 2419 (1990).
3.Ma, Q., Bumgarner, J., Fujimoto, H., Lane, M., and Dauskardt, R.H. in Materials Reliability in Microelectronics VII, edited by Clement, J.J., Keller, R.R., Krisch, K.S., Sanchez, J.E. Jr., and Zuo, Z. (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 473, Warrendale, PA, 1997), pp. 314.
4.Ahn, J., Mittal, K.L., and MacQueen, R.H., in ASTM STP 640, edited by Mittal, K.L., (American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, PA, 1978), p. 134.
5.Wu, T.W., J. Mater. Res. 6, 407 (1991).
6.Venkataraman, S., Kohlstedt, D.L., and Gerberich, W.W., J. Mater. Res. 7, 1126 (1992). Boer, M.P., Nelson, J.C., and Gerberich, W.W., in Thin Films: Stresses and Mechanical Properties VI, edited by Gerberich, W.W., Gao, H., Sundgren, J-E., and Baker, S.P. (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 436, Warrendale, PA, 1997), pp. 103108.
8.Rossington, C., Evans, A.G., Marshall, D.B., and Khuri-Yakub, B.T., J. Appl. Phys. 56, 2639 (1984).
9.Marshall, D.B. and Evans, A.G., J. Appl. Phys. 56, 2632 (1984).
10.Rosenfeld, L.G., Ritter, J.E., Lardner, T.J., and Lin, M.R., J. Appl Phys. 67, 3291 (1990).
11.Evans, A.G. and Hutchinson, J.W., Int. J. Solids Struct. 20, 455 (1984).
12.Kriese, M.D., Moody, N.R., and Gerberich, W.W., Acta Mater. 46, 6623 (1998).
13.Kim, K-S. and Aravas, N., Int. J. Solids Struct. 24, 417 (1988).
14.Kim, K-S. and Kim, J., J. Eng. Mat. Technol. 110, 266 (1988).
15.Malyshev, B. and Salganik, R.L., J. Fract. Mech. 1, 114 (1965).
16.Bennett, S.J., Devries, K.L., and Williams, M.L., Int. J. Fract. 10, 33 (1974).
17.Thouless, M.D. and Jensen, H.M., Adhesion, J.Sci. Technol., 8, 579 (1994).
18.Snodgrass, J.M., Hotchkiss, G., and Dauskardt, R.H., in Electronic Packaging Materials Science X, edited by Belton, D.J., Gaynes, M., Jacobs, E.G., Pearson, R., and Wu, T. (Mater. Res. Symp. Proc 515, Warrendale, PA, 1998), pp. 3743.
19.Bagchi, A., Lucas, G.E., Suo, Z., and Evans, A.G., J. Mater. Res. 9, 1734 (1994).
20.Drory, M.D., Thouless, M.D., and Evans, A.G., Acta Metall. 36, 2019 (1988).
21.He, M.Y., Xu, G., and Clarke, D.R., in Materials Reliability in Microelectronics VII, edited by Clement, J.J., Keller, R.R., Krisch, K.S., Sanchez, J.E. Jr., and Zuo, Z. (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 473, Warrendale, PA, 1997), pp. 1520.
22.Xu, G., Ragan, D.D., Clarke, D.R., He, M.Y., Ma, Q., and Fujimoto, H., in Interfacial Engineering for Optimized Properties, edited by Briant, C.L., Carter, C.B., and Hall, E.L. (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 458, Warrendale, PA, (1997), pp. 465470.
23.Shaffer, E.O., Mills, M.E., Hawn, D., Van Gestel, M., Knorr, A., Gundlach, H., Kumar, K., Kaloyeros, A.E., and Geer, R.E., in Low-Dielectric Constant Materials IV, edited by Chiang, C., Ho, P.S., Lu, T-M., and Wetzel, J.T. (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 511, Warrendale, PA, 1998), pp. 133138.
24.Shaffer, E.O., Sikorski, S.A., and McGarry, F.J., in Materials Reliability in Microelectronis IV, edited by Børgesen, P., Coburn, J.C., Sinchez, J.E. Jr., Rodbell, K.P., and Filter, W.F. (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 338, Pittsburgh, PA, 1994), p. 541551.
25.McGarry, F.J. and Shaffer, E.O., in Thin Films: Stresses and Mechanical Properties V, edited by Baker, S.P., Børgesen, P., Townsend, P.H., Ross, C.A., and Volkert, C.A. (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 356, Pittsburgh, PA, 1995), p. 515.
26.Shaffer, E.O., McGarry, E.J., and Hoang, L., Polymer Eng. Sci. 36, 2375 (1996).
27.Shaffer, E.O., McGarry, F.J., and Trusell, F., in Thin Films: Stress and Mechanical Properties IV, edited by Townsend, P.H., Weihs, T.P., Sanchez, J.E. Jr., and Børgesen, P. (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 308, Pittsburgh, PA, 1993), p. 535539.
29.Hay, J.C., Liniger, E.G., and Liu, X-H., in Adhesion Measurements of Films and Coatings, edited by Mittal, K.L. (VSP, Utrecht, 2000), Vol. 2, pp. 205217.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed