Journal of Materials Research


Defect-dependent Elasticity: Nanoindentation as a Probe of Stress State

K. F. Jarauscha1 p1, J. D. Kielya2 p2, J. E. Houstona2 and P. E. Russella3

a1 North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-753

a2 Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185-1415

a3 North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7531


Using an interfacial force microscope, the measured elastic response of 100-nm-thick Au films was found to be strongly correlated with the films' stress state and thermal history. Large, reversible variations (2×) of indentation modulus were recorded as a function of applied stress. Low-temperature annealing caused permanent changes in the films' measured elastic properties. The measured elastic response was also found to vary in close proximity to grain boundaries in thin films and near surface steps on single-crystal surfaces. These results demonstrate a complex interdependence of stress state, defect structure, and elastic properties in thin metallic films.

(Received October 12 1999)

(Accepted May 01 2000)


p1 Present address: Intel Corporation 2200 Mission College Boulevard, Santa Clara, California 95052-8119.

p2 Present address: Seagate Research, 2403 Sidney Street., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203-2116.