The present study investigated the influence of nanoscale residual stress depth gradients on the nano-mechanical behavior and adhesion energy of aluminium nitride (AlN) and Al/AlN sputtered thin films on a (100) silicon substrate. By using a focused ion beam (FIB) incremental ring-core method, the residual stress depth gradient was assessed in the films in comparison with standard curvature residual stress measurements. The adhesion energy was then quantified by using a nanoindentation-based model. Results showed that the addition of an aluminum layer gave rise to additional tensile stress at the coating/substrate interface, which can be explained in terms of the differences of thermal expansion coefficients with the silicon substrate. Therefore, the coatings without the Al layer showed better adhesion because of a more homogeneous compressive residual stress in comparison with the coating having the Al layer, even though both groups of coatings were produced under the same bias voltage. Results are discussed, and some general suggestions are made on the correlation between coating/substrate property combinations and the adhesion energy of multilayer stacks. The results suggested that the Al bond layer and inhomogeneous residual stresses negatively affected the adhesion of AlN to a substrate such as silicon
Ali, R., Renzelli, M., Khan, M., Sebastiani, M., Bemporad, E. (2018). Effects of Residual Stress Distribution on Interfacial Adhesion of Magnetron Sputtered AlN and AlN/Al Nanostructured Coatings on a (100) Silicon Substrate. NANOMATERIALS, 8(11), 896 [10.3390/nano8110896].