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Toughness and Contact Behavior of Conventional and Low-k Dielectric Thin Films

  • Robert F. Cook (a1), Dylan J. Morris (a1) and Jeremy Thurn (a2)


A comprehensive indentation fracture mechanics framework is established that allows the fracture properties of thin films to be determined. The framework is composed of four stress-intensity factors characterizing the stress fields arising from (i) elastic contact, (ii) wedging, (iii) residual elastic-plastic mismatch and (iv) pre-existing film stress. The amplitudes of the stress-intensity factors depend on the deformation properties of the film and vary throughout the indentation cycle. The toughness values of a PVD alumina, for which (iii) and (iv) are dominant, and a low-k film, for which (i), (ii) and (iv) are dominant, are evaluated.



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