Deformation and fracture mechanisms in nanocomposite and nanolaminate thin films revealed through combinatorial design and nanomechanical testing

Conference Dates

September 29-October 4, 2019


We’ve integrated an atomic layer deposition (ALD), a physical vapor deposition (PVD) and a nanoparticle inert gas condensation (NP) deposition system into a single vacuum chamber. This combined system allows for PVD sputtering of micrometer thick films and incorporation of size filtered nanoparticles and/or controlled deposition of mono-layer highly conformal film coatings within a multilayer structure. In this way, unique model thin film microstructures can be architectured. We designed three thin films to understand the basic mechanism of plasticity and fracture in thin films: a) Al2O3 oxide films were deposited on combinatorial libraries of the ternary noble metal alloys with full compositional range to understand interfacial adhesion between oxide and noble metal alloys b) monosized tungsten nanoparticles were deposited at the interface of Cu/Ni multilayers to understand how thin film hardness and thermal stability can be engineered, c) ultrathin monolayers of Al2O3 layers were sandwiched between sputtered Al layers and micropillar compression was used to understand dislocation transmission and fracture across ultrathin ceramic layers.

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