Nanoindentaion techniques for assessing mechanical reliability at the nanoscale

Alex A. VolinskyCorresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, a and William W. Gerberichb

a Process and Materials Characterization Laboratory, MD EL-622, Motorola Inc., 210 E. Elliot Road, Tempe, AZ 85284, USA
b Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

Available online 24 June 2003.


Nanoindetation is a powerful technique for measuring mechanical properties of thin films. First applied over 20 years ago in the hard drive industry, it is now commonly used for other applications. This paper describes nanoindentation techniques for measuring thin films mechanical properties, including elastic modulus, hardness, adhesion and fracture toughness as applied for modern microelectronics reliability. Elastic, plastic and adhesion properties of Cu interconnects are discussed, including the influence of film microstructure, thickness and grain size. Elastic, fracture and adhesion properties of advanced low-K dielectrics also discussed along with the current challenges of nanoindentation data interpretation and analysis as applied for advanced electronic materials.

Author Keywords: Nanoindentation; Mechanical reliability; Adhesion; Interconnects; Low-K dielectrics

Corresponding Author Contact InformationCorresponding author. Tel.: +1-480-413-3092; fax: +1-480-413-2656.