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Influence of Film/Substrate Interface Structure on Plasticity in Metal Thin Films

  • G. Dehm (a1), B.J. Inkson (a2), T.J. Balk (a1), T. Wagner (a1) and E. Arzt (a1)...
Abstract

In-situ transmission electron microscopy studies of metal thin films on substrates indicate that dislocation motion is influenced by the structure of the film/substrate interface. For Cu films grown on silicon substrates coated with an amorphous SiNx diffusion barrier, the transmission electron microscopy studies reveal that dislocations are pulled towards the interface, where their contrast finally disappears. However, in epitaxial Al films deposited on single-crystalline α- Al2O3 substrates, threading dislocations advance through the layer and deposit dislocation segments adjacent to the interface. In this latter case, the interface is between two crystalline lattices. Stresses in epitaxial Al films and polycrystalline Cu films were determined by substrate- curvature measurements. It was found that, unlike the polycrystalline Cu films, the flow stresses in the epitaxial Al films are in agreement with a dislocation-based model.

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