The wafer curvature technique was used to analyze stresses in fine-grained, 50 nm to 2 μm thick Au films on silicon substrates between room temperature and 500°C. The microstructural evolution was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In situ heating experiments inside a scanning electron microscope provided a comparison between the morphological development and the stress-temperature behavior of the film. Hillock formation was observed, but it can only partially account for the stress relaxation measured by the wafer curvature technique.
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Sauter, L., Balk, T.J., Dehm, G. et al. Hillock formation and thermal stresses in thin Au films on Si substrates. MRS Online Proceedings Library 875, 52 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-875-O5.2