Skip to main content Accessibility help

On the Characterization of Thin Film-only Mechanical Property Based on the Indentation Image Analysis

  • Yun-Hee Lee (a1), Yong-Il Kim (a2), Hoon-Sik Jang (a3), Seung-Hoon Nahm (a4), Ju-Young Kim (a5), Dongil Kwon (a6) and Jae-il Jang (a7)...


Conventional nanoindentation testing generally uses a peak penetration depth of less than 10 % of thin-film thickness in order to measure film-only mechanical properties, without considering the critical depth for a given thin film-substrate system. The uncertainties in this testing condition make hardness measurement more difficult. We propose a new way to determine the critical relative depth for general thin-film/substrate systems; an impression volume analyzed from the remnant indent image is used here as a new parameter. Nanoindents made on soft Cu and Au thin films with various indentation loads were observed by atomic force microscope. The impression volume calculated from 3D remnant image was normalized by the indenter penetration volume. This indent volume ratio varied only slightly in the shallow regime but decreased significantly when the indenter penetration depth exceeded the targeted critical relative depth. Thus, we determined the critical relative depth by empirically fitting the trend of the indent volume ratio and determining the inflection point. The critical relative depths for Cu and Au films were determined as 0.170 and 0.173, respectively, values smaller than 0.249 and 0.183 determined from the hardness variation of the two thin films. Hence the proposed indent volume ratio is highly sensitive to the substrate constraint, and stricter control of the penetration depth is needed to measure film-only mechanical properties.



Hide All
1. Oliver, W.C. and Pharr, G.M., J. Mater. Res., 7, 15641583 (1992).
2. Cai, X. and Bangert, H., Thin Solid Films, 264, 5971 (1995).
3. Bhattacharya, A.K. and Nix, W.D., Int. J. Solids Struct., 24, 12871298 (1988).
4. Ford, I.J., Thin Solid Films, 245, 122131 (1994).
5. Tsui, T.Y., Oliver, W.C., and Pharr, G.M., Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc., 436, 207 (1996).
6. Xu, Z.-H. and Rowcliffe, D., Surf. Coat. Technol., 157, 231237 (2002).
7. Lee, Y.-H., Huh, Y.-H., Kim, J.-Y., Nahm, S.-H., Jang, J.-i., and Kwon, D., Key Eng. Mater., 326–328, 215218 (2006).
8. Ohmura, T., Matsuoka, S., Tanaka, K., and Yoshida, T., Thin Solid Films, 385, 198204 (2001).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

MRS Online Proceedings Library (OPL)
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1946-4274
  • URL: /core/journals/mrs-online-proceedings-library-archive
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



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