New Insight into Pile-Up in Thin Film Indentation

  • Kevin Schwieker
  • James Frye
  • Barton C. ProrokEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


This work builds involves leveraging our recent thin film mechanics model on the discontinuous transfer of strain from the film to the substrate. In applying this model with well-defined film and substrate properties we were able to decouple the effects of elastic modulus and Poisson’s ratio mismatch in the indentation process. In doing so we identified new insight in the processes of pile-up and strong evidence suggested a dependence on film thickness and ratios of film/substrate of elastic modulus and Poisson’s ratio. Atomic force microscopy was employed to characterize the degree of pile-up and correlate it with the above dependencies. We believe these efforts will enable the prediction of the degree of pile-up and subsequently the removal of its influence in measuring thin film behavior.


Elastic Recovery Material Combination Compliant Substrate Indent Depth Platinum Film 
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Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Schwieker
    • 1
  • James Frye
    • 1
  • Barton C. Prorok
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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