Finite element modeling of stress variation in multilayer thin-film specimens for in situ transmission electron microscopy experiments


Multilayer thin-film materials with various thicknesses, compositions, and deposition methods for each layer typically exhibit residual stresses. In situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a powerful technique that has been used to determine correlations between residual stresses and the microstructure. However, to produce electron transparent specimens for TEM, one or more layers of the film are sacrificed, thus altering the state of stresses. By conducting a stress analysis of multilayer thin-film TEM specimens, using a finite element method, we show that the film stresses can be considerably altered after TEM sample preparation. The stress state depends on the geometry and the interactions among multiple layers.

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The authors would like to thank the Center for Nano and Molecular Science and Technology, the Texas Materials Institute and Freescale Semiconductors for their support of this research. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Martin Gall at Freescale Semiconductors for his useful discussions. R. Huang and H. Mei are grateful for the financial support by National Science Foundation through Grant CMS-0547409.

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Correspondence to P. J. Ferreira.

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Mei, H., An, J.H., Huang, R. et al. Finite element modeling of stress variation in multilayer thin-film specimens for in situ transmission electron microscopy experiments. Journal of Materials Research 22, 2737–2741 (2007).

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