Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy studies for deformation behaviors of AlN thin films under Berkovich nanoindentation

Sheng Rui Jian*, G. J. Chen, H. G. Chen, Jason S C Jang, Y. Y. Liao, P. F. Yang, Y. S. Lai, M. R. Chen, H. L. Kao, Jenh-Yih Juang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article reports a nanomechanical response study of the contact-induced deformation behavior in AlN thin film by using a combination of nanoindentation and the cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (XTEM) techniques. AlN thin films are deposited on Si(1 1 1) substrates by using the helicon sputtering system. The hardness and Young's modulus of the AlN thin film are measured by a Berkovich nanoindenter operated with the continuous contact stiffness measurements (CSM) mode. The obtained values of hardness and Young's modulus are 24.79 ± 0.33 GPa and 223.92 ± 5.34 GPa, respectively. XTEM samples are prepared by using focused ion beam (FIB) milling to accurately position the cross-section of the indented area. Although the film's surface was free from fracture, AlN thin film showed evidence of radial crack along the columnar grain boundary underneath the center of Berkovich indentation for an applied load of 100 mN. XTEM results also indicated that the slip bands on {1 1 1} planes and an indentation-induced phase transformation zone of silicon substrate, containing the metastable phases of Si-III and Si-XII, and, the amorphous phases are observed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Volume504
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2010

Keywords

  • AlN
  • Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy
  • Focused ion beam
  • Nanoindentation

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