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Stress Determination in Textured Thin Films Using X-Ray Diffraction

B. Clemens
J. Bain
Journal / Anthology

MRS Bulletin
Year: 1992
Issue: July
Page range: 46-51

Thin film stresses are important in many areas of technology. In the semiconductor industry, metal interconnects are prone to stress voiding and hillock formation. Stresses in passivation layers can lead to excessive substrate curvature which can cause alignment difficuly in subsequent lithogaphic processing. In ther thin film applications, stresses can cause peeling from mechanical failure at the film-substrate interface. Beyond these issues of reliability, stress and the resulting strain can be used to tune the properties of thin film materials. For instance, strain, coupled with the magnetorestrictive effect, can be utilized to induce the preferred magnetization direction. Also, epitaxial strains can be used to adjust the bandgap of semiconductors. Finally, the anomalous mechanical properties of multilayered materials are thought to be partially due to the extreme strain states in the constituents of these materials. To fully optimize the film performance, a fundamental understanding of the causes and effects of thin film stress is needed. These studies in turn rely on detailed characterization of the stress and strain state of thin films.

*Science > Physics > Solid State Physics