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Elastic-property measurements of ultrathin films using atomic force acoustic microscopy



Malgorzata Kopycinska-Mueller, Roy H. Geiss, Jens Mueller, Donna C. Hurley


Atomic force acoustic microscopy (AFAM), an emerging technique that affords nanoscale lateral and depth resolution, was employed to measure the elastic properties of ultrathin films. In this study we measured the indentation modulus M of three nickel films approximately 50, 200, and 800 nm thick. In contrast to conventional methods such as nanoindentation, the AFAM results remained free of any influence of the silicon substrate, even in the 50 nm film. X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy results indicated that the films were nanocrystalline with a strong preferred (111) orientation. Values of M ranged from 210 GPa to 223 GPa, lower than expected from bulk-nickel values. Such decrease in the value of the elastic modulus may be explained by grain-size effects.
Acta Materialia


AFAM, AFM, elastic behavior, nanocrystalline microstructure, thin films


Kopycinska-Mueller, M. , Geiss, R. , Mueller, J. and Hurley, D. (2005), Elastic-property measurements of ultrathin films using atomic force acoustic microscopy, Acta Materialia, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created April 4, 2005, Updated October 12, 2021