Detalle Publicación


Fracture characterization of brittle thin-films by membrane testing

Título de la revista: THIN SOLID FILMS
ISSN: 0040-6090
Volumen: 564
Páginas: 314 - 320
Fecha de publicación: 2014
The continuous miniaturization process in the microelectronic industry, along with the introduction of Interlayer Dielectrics (ILDs) with poorer mechanical properties, makes necessary the development of characterization techniques to evaluate the mechanical performance of very thin films. This work presents a mechanical characterization technique for thin films based on membrane testing. Membranes, micromachined with anisotropic wet etching of Si, are tested to fracture using a nanoindenter to apply the load and register the provoked deflection. The technique is applied to the fracture characterization of two different ILDs with four thicknesses ranging from 100 nm to 500 nm. Combination of experiments and finite element simulations allows for the calculation of the strength of the materials from the fracture load. The technique permits to discriminate both ILDs and to establish clear thickness dependence: for both materials, 100 nm films show a significant lower strength while no effect of film thickness on strength is observed in the range between 200 and 500 nm. A sensitivity analysis of the outcome of the technique, the fracture stress, to the variability of the input parameters is presented, showing the robustness of the proposed approach: the experimental error in the fracture stress is smaller than the variation in the input parameters.