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Electro-mechanical performance of thin gold films on polyimide

  • Barbara Putz (a1), Oleksandr Glushko (a1), Vera M. Marx (a2), Christoph Kirchlechner (a1) (a2), Daniel Toebbens (a3) and Megan J. Cordill (a1)...
Abstract

Thin metal films on compliant polymer substrates are of major interest for flexible electronic technologies. The suitability of a film system for flexible applications is based on the electro-mechanical performance of the metal film/polymer substrate couple. This study demonstrates how a 10 nm Cr interlayer deteriorates the electro-mechanical performance of 50 nm Au films on polyimide substrates by inducing the formation of cracks in the ductile layer. Combined in-situ measurements of the film lattice strains with x-ray diffraction and electrical resistance with four point probe of the Au-Cr and Au layers during uniaxial straining confirmed different electro-mechanical behaviours. For Au films with a Cr interlayer the film stress decreases rapidly as cracking initiates and reaches a plateau as the saturation crack spacing is reached. Crack formation and stress drop correspond to a rapid increase in the film resistance. Without the interlayer the Au film stress reaches a maximum around 2% engineering strain and remains constant throughout the experiment. The film resistance is unaffected by the applied elongation up to a maximum strain of 15%, giving no sign of cracking in the metal layer. The outstanding electro-mechanical performance of the gold film indicates that adhesion layers, like Cr, may not be necessary to improve the performance of ductile films on polymers.

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*corresponding author: barbara.putz@stud.unileoben.ac.at
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MRS Advances
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