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Title: Silicon nanomembranes as a means to evaluate stress evolution in deposited thin films

Author: Clausen, Anna M.; Paskiewicz, Deborah M.; Sadeghirad, Alireza; Jakes, Joseph; Savage, Donald E.; Stone, Donald S.; Liu, Feng; Lagally, Max G.;

Date: 2014

Source: Extreme Mechanics Letters

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Thin-film deposition on ultra-thin substrates poses unique challenges because of the potential for a dynamic response to the film stress during deposition. While theoretical studies have investigated film stress related changes in bulk substrates, little has been done to learn how stress might evolve in a film growing on a compliant substrate. We use silicon nanomembranes (SiNMs), extremely thin sheets of single-crystalline Si, as a substrate for the growth of amorphous SiNx to begin to address this question. Nanomembranes are released from a silicon-on-insulator wafer with selective etching, transferred over a hole etched into a Si wafer, and bonded to the edges of the hole. The nanomembrane window provides the substrate for SiNx deposition and a platform, using Raman spectroscopy, for measurements of the evolving strain in the nanomembrane. From the strain in the nanomembrane, the film stress can be inferred from the required balance of forces in the film/substrate system. We observe that the strain in the tethered NM increases as the NM is made thinner while the intrinsic steady-state stress in the deposited film is reduced.

Keywords: Thin films, Silicon, Nanomaterials, Stress and strain, Nanomembranes

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Clausen, Anna M.; Paskiewicz, Deborah M.; Sadeghirad, Alireza; Jakes, Joseph; Savage, Donald E.; Stone, Donald S.; Liu, Feng; Lagally, Max G. 2014. Silicon nanomembranes as a means to evaluate stress evolution in deposited thin films. Extreme Mechanics Letters. 1: 9-16.

 


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