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Characterizing the Modulus and Hardness of Photopatternable Silicone Compositions Using Depth Sensing Nanoindentation

  • Brian R. Harkness (a1), Richard L. Schalek (a2), Satyen K. Sarmah (a1) and Lawrence T. Drzal (a2)


The mechanical properties of two cured silicone monolithic specimens with targeted bulk moduli of 300 and 10 MPa have been evaluated by DMA and regionally by CSM nanoindentation. The results showed that the mechanical properties of the monolithic samples were heterogeneous, with the DMA and nanoindention results only in agreement at the midplane of cleaved bulk samples. The specimens showed a significantly higher modulus at the sample surfaces compared to the bulk. Thin films of the same silicones displayed a modulus closer to that of the bulk sample surface. The nanoindentation results of this study were reliable and consistent, and are being used to assess the effects of material and microelectronic device integration processes on the mechanical properties of a series of low modulus photopatternable silicone thin film dielectrics.



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