Cyclic deformation of polycrystalline Cu films

Philosophical Magazine 83 (6):693-710 (2003)

Abstract
Fatigue impairs the reliability of macroscopic metallic components utilized in a variety of technological applications. However, the fatigue behaviour of thin metal films and small-scale components used in microelectronics and mechanical microdevices has yet to be explored in detail. The fatigue behaviour in submicrometre thin films is likely to differ from that in bulk material, since the volume necessary for the formation of dislocation structures typical of cyclic deformation in bulk material is larger than that available in thin films. The thin-film dimensions and microstructure, therefore, affect the microscopic processes responsible for fatigue. The fatigue behaviour of Cu films 0.4, 0.8 and 3.0 µm thick on polyimide substrates was investigated. The specimens were fatigued at a total strain amplitude of 0.5% using an electromechanical tensile-testing machine. This work focuses on the characterization of fatigue mechanisms and the resulting fatigue damage of thin Cu films. Extrusions similar to those observed in bulk material were found at the film surfaces after cyclic loading. Voids observed beneath the extrusions, close to the film-substrate interface, contributed significantly to thin-film failure. Thinner films were more fatigue resistant and contained fewer and smaller extrusions than thicker films did. A small thickness appears to inhibit void nucleation. This observation is explained in terms of vacancy diffusion and annihilation at free surfaces or grain boundaries. Transmission electron microscopy investigations confirmed that no long-range dislocation structures have developed during fatigue loading of the films investigated
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DOI 10.1080/0141861021000056690
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Vacancy Dipoles in Fatigued Copper.J. G. Antonopoulos, L. M. Brown & A. T. Winter - 1976 - Philosophical Magazine 34 (4):549-563.

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