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Measurement of Thin-Film Stress, Stiffness, and Strength Using an Enhanced Membrane Pressure-Bulge Technique

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Aaron J. Chalekian
Affiliation:
Computational Mechanics Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706, U.S.A.
Roxann L. Engelstad
Affiliation:
Computational Mechanics Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706, U.S.A.
Edward G. Lovell
Affiliation:
Computational Mechanics Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Accurate mechanical properties of thin films are essential for viable design and fabrication of semiconductor devices and microelectromechanical systems. Relevant properties of thin films such as intrinsic stress, biaxial modulus, and fracture strength can be significantly different than their corresponding bulk values, and much more difficult to measure. However, such data can be obtained from the pressure-deflection response of clamped freestanding membranes, i.e., the so-called pressure-bulge test. Experimental challenges include membrane leakage prevention, ensuring proper structural boundary conditions, and accurately measuring applied pressure and transverse displacements simultaneously. In addition to these issues, most previously-developed pressure-bulge instruments rely on vacuum pump loadings. Such tools are limited by the one-atmosphere differential pressure over the membrane, which is inadequate for burst testing of high-strength films. Consequently, an enhanced pressure-bulge tool has been developed and will be described in this paper. It incorporates positive pressure to overcome the one-atmosphere load limitation, improved edge constraints, and the ability to test an array of membrane windows across a single substrate.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2004

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References

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Measurement of Thin-Film Stress, Stiffness, and Strength Using an Enhanced Membrane Pressure-Bulge Technique
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