Title page for ETD etd-10182006-081706

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Chadha, Harpreet Singh
Author's Email Address hschadha@vt.edu
URN etd-10182006-081706
Title Quantitative evaluation of thin film adhesion using the probe test
Degree Master of Science
Department Engineering Science and Mechanics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dillard, David A. Committee Chair
Dillard, John G. Committee Member
Librescu, Liviu Committee Member
  • interfacial fracture energy
  • fracture mechanics
  • thin film
  • adhesion
  • delamination
Date of Defense 2006-08-04
Availability unrestricted
In this study, a test technique, referred to as the probe test, has been developed as a quantitative tool for measuring the adhesion in thin adhesive films and coatings. The technique was initially developed as a qualitative test by the Hewlett-Packard Company for measuring adhesion of thin film microelectronic coatings. In the probe test method, an inclined needle-like probe with a conical tip is advanced underneath the free edge of a thin polymeric coating bonded to a substrate, causing the edge to lift-up from the surface of the substrate. A debond is thus initiated at the loading point and propagates as a semi-circular crack at the interface as the probe slides under the coating. A standard test procedure has been developed for testing thin adhesive coating/substrate systems. The sample system used is a thin film epoxy polymer coated silicon system. The interfacial fracture energy (Gc) (or critical strain energy release rate) has been used as a quantitative measure of adhesion for the given adhesive coating/substrate system.

The probe test experiments were conducted using an optical microscope and a WYKO optical profiler. Using the optical microscope, the debond radius was measured for different debond sizes. Using the WYKO optical profiler, the three-dimensional surface topography of the debonded coating around the crack front was measured for different debond sizes. Using the experimental data from the probe test, analytical and numerical (finite element-based) techniques have been developed to determine the interfacial fracture energy (Gc) for the given adhesive coating/substrate system. The analytical techniques were developed based on different plate theory formulations (thin/thick plate - small/large deflection) of the probe test geometry and local curvature measurement at the crack tip. The finite element based techniques were developed using a hybrid numerical-experimental approach and surface-based contact interaction analysis in ABAQUS. The results obtained using thick plate-large deflection formulation correlated with finite element contact interaction analysis results. The probe test can be used with transparent or opaque coatings and thus offers a promising alternative to indentation and other tests methods for characterizing thin film and coating adhesion.

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