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Effects of Nanometer-Thick Passivation Layers on the Mechanical Response of Thin Gold Films

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The mechanical behavior of freestanding gold membranes 0.5 m thick with and without passivation layers was studied with a membrane deflection experiment. Membrane width was varied from 2.5 to 20 m to investigate size effects. The presence of the passivation layer had the effect of reducing the membrane strength. Yield stress, as well as fracture strain and stress, were all found to be significantly lower for the passivated specimens. The residual stress state was found to be significantly larger with passivation, to the degree of generating prestressed cracks at micromachined notches. Membrane width had the greatest effect on the residual stress state with smaller widths having larger residual stress.
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Keywords: CMOS DEVICE; GOLD THIN FILMS; MEMBRANE; PASSIVATION LAYERS; STRESS-STRAIN

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208-3111, USA

Publication date: 2002-07-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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