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SEM images of (a) random crack propagation in a continuous metal film and [(b)–(d)] wavy crack propagation guided by patterned metal underlayers. Silicon nitride thin films were deposited to conformally coat metal films on silicon wafers coated with native oxides; on (a) continuous metal films, (b) metal films patterned into lines, (c) lines with discrete width changes, and (d) lines with continuously varying widths. The samples were heated to and the thickness of the metal patterns (Ag in this case) was 20 nm. The thickness of the silicon nitride films was 240 nm. All scale .
The relationship between the wavelength of a wavy crack and the width the underlying metal pattern. “120 nm SiN 20 nm Au” indicates that the thickness of the silicon nitride thin film was 120 nm, and the thickness of the patterned Au was 20 nm. is the wavelength of the wavy crack, is the width of metal pattern, and is a constant.
An SEM image of cracked silicon nitride with and without a notch created using a focused ion beam system. The films were heated to . The thickness of the metal patterns (Ag in this case) was 20 nm, and the thickness of the silicon nitride was 240 nm. A white arrow indicates the notch position. Scale .
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