The interface between a highly-crosslinked polymer film and a thin silicon nitride layer can be regulated using adhesion promoting molecules. This work compares the effects of both indirect polymer/inorganic interface chemistry modification by blending organosilane adhesion promoting molecules into the polymer layer, and direct modification by confining the organosilane molecules to the substrate surface. Of particular interest are the effects of these modifications on the occurrence of an anomalous subcritical debonding phenomenon previously observed for the unmodified interface. While significantly different adhesion values were measured, the influence of the blended organosilanes was limited to moderating moisture diffusion through the polymer layer, which correllates with moderated near-threshold growth rates. Conversely, nanoscale confinement of the adhesion promoting molecules did not result in expected universal increases in adhesion energy but did inhibit anomalous debonding behavior.
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Sharratt, B.M., Dauskardt, R.H. The Role of Nanoscale Confinement of Adhesion Promoting Molecules on the Adhesion and Resistance to Moisture Attack at the Polymer/Silicon Nitride Interface. MRS Online Proceedings Library 924, 818 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-0924-Z08-18