Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 74–83 | Cite as

A parametric study of laser induced thin film spallation

  • Junlan Wang
  • Richard L. Weaver
  • Nancy R. Sottos


We report parametric studies of elastic wave generation by a pulsed laser and associated spalling of thin surface films by the corresponding high stresses. Two different substrate materials, single crystal Si (100) and fused silica, are considered. Spallation behavior of Al thin films is investigated as a function of substrate thickness, film thickness, laser energy, and various parameters governing the source. Surface displacement due to the stress wave is measured by Michaelson interferometry and used to infer the stresses on the film interface. Consistent with previous studies, the maximum stress in the substrate and at the film/substrate interface increases with increasing laser fluence. For many of the conditions tested, the substrate stress is large enough to damage the Si. Moreover, the maximum interface stress is found to increase with increasing film thickness, but decrease with increasing substrate thickness due to geometric attenuation. Of particular significance is the development of a decompression shock in the fused sillica substrates, which results in very high tensile stresses at the interface. This shock enhances the failure of thin film interfaces, especially in thicker samples.

Key Words

Laser spallation thin film interface adhesion stress wave decompression shock 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Evans, A. andHutchinson, J., “The Thermomechanical Integrity of Thin Films and Multilayers,”Acta. Metall. Mater.,43,2507–2530 (1995).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Heavens, O.S., “Some Factors Influencing the Adhesion of Films Produced by Vacuum Evaporation,”J. Phys. Radium,11,355–360 (1950).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Weaver, C., “Adhesion of Thin Films,”J. Vac. Sci. Technol.,12,18–25 (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Laugier, M., “The Development of the Scratch Technique for the Determination of the Adhesion of Coatings,”Thin Solid Films,76 (3),289–294 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hull, T.R., Colligon, J.S., andHill, A.E., “Measurement of Thin Film Adhesion,”Vacuum,37,327–330 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Strong, J., “On the Cleaning of Surfaces,”Rev. Sci. Instrum.,6,97–98 (1935).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jacobsson, R., “Measurement of Adhesion of Thin Films,”Thin Solid Films,34,191–199 (1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gent, A.N. andLewandowski, L.H., “Blow-off Pressures for Adhering Layers, J. Appl. Polym. Sci.,33,1567–1577 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chu, Y.Z., Jeong, H.S., White, R.C., andDuring, C.J., “Characterization of Adhesion in Thin-film Materials by the Blister Test,”Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc.,276,209–220 (1992).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kriese, M.D., Gerberich, W.W., andMoody, N.R., “Quantitative Adhesion Measures of Multiplayer Films: Part I. Indentation Mechanics,”J. Mater. Res.,14 (7),3007–3018 (1999).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kriese, M.D., Gerberich, W.W. andMoody, N.R., “Quantitative Adhesion Measures of Multiplayer Films: Part II. Indentation of W/Cu, W/W, Cr/W,”J. Mater. Res.,14 (7),3019–3026 (1999).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Thouless, M.D., “Fracture Mechanics for Thin Film Adhesion,”IBM J. Res. Develop. 38,367–377 (1994).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Vossen, J.L., in “Adhesion Measurement of Thin Films, Thick Films and Bulk Coatings,” ASTM STP640, 122–133 (1978).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ready, J.F., “Effects Due to Absorption of Laser Radiation,”J. Appl. Phys.,36,462–468 (1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Anderholm, N.C., “Laser Generated Stress Waves,”Appl. Phys. Lett.,16 (3),113–115 (1970).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Peercy, P.S., Jones, E.D., Bushnell, J.C., andGobeli, G.W., “Ultrafast Rise Time Laser Induced Stress Waves,”Appl. Phys. Lett.,16,120–122 (1970).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Yang, L.C., “Stress Waves Generated in Thin Metallic Films By a Q-switched Ruby Laser,”J. Appl. Phys.,45 (6),2602–2608 (1974).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fox, J.A., “Effect of Pulse Shaping on Laser-induced Spallation,”Appl. Phys. Lett.,24,340–343 (1974).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gupta, V., Argon, A.S., Cornie, J.A., andParks, D.M., “Measurement of Interface Strength by Laser Pulse-induced Spallation,”Mater. Sci. Eng., A126,105–117 (1990).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gupta, V., Argon, A.S., Parks, D.M. andCornie, J.A., “Measurement of Interface Strength by a Laser Spallation Technique,”J. Mech. Phys. Solids,40,141–180 (1992).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yuan, J. andGupta, V., “Measurement of Interface Strength by the Modified Laser Spallation Technique. I. Experiment and Simulation of the Spallation Process,”J. Appl. Phys.,74,388–2396 (1993).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gupta, V. andYuan J., “Measurement of Interface Strength by the Modified Laser Spallation Technique. II. Applications to Metal/Ceramic Interfaces,”J. Appl. Phys.,74,2397–2404 (1993).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Yuan, J., Gupta, V., andPronin, A., “Measurement of Interface Strength by the Modified Laser Spallation Technique. III. Experimental Optimization of the Stress Pulse,”J. Appl. Phys.,74,2405–2410 (1993).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gupta, V., Yuan, J., andPronin, A., “Recent Developments in the Laser Spallation Technique to Measure the Interface Strength and Its Relationship to Interface Toughness with Applications to Metal/Ceramic, Ceramic/Ceramic and Ceramic/Polymer Interfaces,”J. Adhesion Sci. Technol.,8,713–747 (1994).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Boustie, M., Auronz, E., Romain, J.P., Bertoli, A., andManesse, D., “Determination of the Bond Strength of Some Microns Coatings Using the Laser Shock Technique,”Eur. Phys. J. AP5,149–153 (1999).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Miklowitz, J., “Elastic Waves and Waveguides,” North Holland (1978).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Zhou, M. andClifton, R.J., “Dynamic Ductile Rupture under Conditions of Plane Strain,”J. Appl. Phys. 74,2405–2410 (1997).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Raiser, G.F., Wise, J.L., Clifton, R.J., Grady, D.E., andCox, D.E., “Plate Impact Response of Ceramics and Glasses,”J. Appl. Phys.,75,3862–3869 (1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Barker, L.M. andHollenbach, R.E., “Shock Wave Studies of PMMA, Fused Silica and Sappire,”J. Appl. Phys.,41,4208–4226 (1970).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nunziato, J.W., Walsh, E.K., Schuler, K.W., and Barker, L.M., “Wave Propagation in Nonlinear Viscoelastic Solids,” in Mechanics of Solids, C. Truesdell, ed., Springer Verlag,IV,1–108 (1984).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Thurston, R.N., “Waves in Solids,” in Mechanics of Solids, C. Tresdell, ed., Springer Verlag,IV,109–308 (1984).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Pierce, A., Acoustics, McGraw-Hill (1981).Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Nutt, G.L. andKing, W.E., “Comments on the Bond Strength Measurement of Gupta and Co-workers,”Materials Science and Engineering A159,135–142 (1992).Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lev, L.C. andArgon, A.S., “Spallation of Thin Elastic Coating from Elastic Substrates by Laser Induced Pressure Pulses,”J. Appl. Phys.,80,529–542 (1996).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Argon, A.S., Cornie, J.A., Gupta, V., Lev, L., andParks, D.M., “Response to the Comments of Nutt and King on the Bond Strength Measurements of Gupta et al.,”Materials Science and Engineering, A37,224–228 (1997).Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lamb, J., Redwood, M., andShteinshleifer, Z., “Absorption of Compressional Waves in Solids from 100 to 1000 MC/Sec,”Physical Review Letters,3 (1),28–29 (1959).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kinsler, L.E., Frey, A.R., Coppens, A.B., andSanders, J.V., Fundamentals of Acoustics, John Wiley & Sons, New York (1980).Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Wang, J., Sottos, N. R., and Weaver, R. L., “Laser Induced Thin Film Spallation,” TAM Report No. 944, UILU-ENG-2000-6019, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2000).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junlan Wang
    • 1
  • Richard L. Weaver
    • 1
  • Nancy R. Sottos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theoretical and Applied MechanicsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

Personalised recommendations