Subcritical crack growth in SiNx thin-film barriers studied by electro-mechanical two-point bending

Q. Guan, J. Laven, P.C.P. Bouten, G. With, de

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Abstract

Mechanical failure resulting from subcritical crack growth in the SiN x inorganic barrier layer applied on a flexible multilayer structure was studied by an electro-mechanical two-point bending method. A 10¿nm conducting tin-doped indium oxide layer was sputtered as an electrical probe to monitor the subcritical crack growth in the 150¿nm dielectric SiN x layer carried by a polyethylene naphthalate substrate. In the electro-mechanical two-point bending test, dynamic and static loads were applied to investigate the crack propagation in the barrier layer. As consequence of using two loading modes, the characteristic failure strain and failure time could be determined. The failure probability distribution of strain and lifetime under each loading condition was described by Weibull statistics. In this study, results from the tests in dynamic and static loading modes were linked by a power law description to determine the critical failure over a range of conditions. The fatigue parameter n from the power law reduces greatly from 70 to 31 upon correcting for internal strain. The testing method and analysis tool as described in the paper can be used to understand the limit of thin-film barriers in terms of their mechanical properties.
Original languageEnglish
Article number213512
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume113
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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