A variety of thin films have to be deposited during the fabrication of electronic devices. The two most common deposition methods are physical vapor deposition (PVD) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) due to their abilities to produce high quality, technologically advanced thin films in mass production. However, understanding, measuring, and controlling the properties of the resultant films is a complex process. Films can range from amorphous to single crystal, a single atomic layer to multilayer coatings, dense to porous, and have structural and chemical gradients, depending on the deposition conditions. Additionally, the materials being deposited along with their resulting structure and composition can lead to large changes in interfacial adhesion properties.
There is no handbook of mechanical and interfacial properties of deposited films, given the diversity of input parameters that dictate these quantities. These properties strongly depend on the details of the deposition process, details of film growth kinetics and mechanisms on the substrate, intermediate processes, and post-deposition processes. The ability to quantitatively measure mechanical and interfacial adhesion properties of ultra-thin films is of paramount importance to controlling thin film behavior and establishing process parameter limits.