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The Tunability in Mechanical Properties and Fracture Toughness of Sputtered Silicon Oxynitride Thin Films for MEMS-based Infrared Detectors

  • I-Kuan Lin (a1), Ping-Hsin Wu (a2), Kuang-Shun Ou (a3), Kuo-Shen Chen (a4) and Xin Zhang (a5)...


This paper presents the mechanical characterization of the elastic modulus, hardness and fracture toughness of silicon oxynitride films (SiON) with different oxygen and nitrogen content, subjected to thermal annealing processed at 400 °C and 800 °C. The Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy was employed to characterize the SiON films with respect to the absorbance peak in the infrared spectrum. The nanoindentation testing showed that both the elastic modulus and hardness slightly increased after thermal annealing. Finally, the fracture toughness of the SiON films were estimated using Vickers micro-indentation tests and the result revealed that the fracture toughness decreased with increasing rapid thermal annealing (RTA) temperature and nitrogen content. We believe these results benefit microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) in regards to maintaining the structural integrity and improving reliability performance.



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