Deposition and Lithography | Bruker

Deposition and Lithography

Quantitative Thin Film Nanomechanical and Interfacial Adhesion Characterization


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.


Lithography is an intermediate process in electronic device fabrication. The mechanical and interfacial properties of the photoresists, as well as the potential effects of the photolithography process on the underlying deposited film structure, need to be thoroughly characterized. Understanding the mechanical properties of the resist, such as the modulus of elasticity and glass transition temperature, are needed to assure the resist structures will withstand the various forces and environmental conditions encountered during processing.

Bruker has pioneered a comprehensive suite of test equipment and characterization techniques to enable quantitative nanoscale mechanical and interfacial adhesion measurements of thin films. Nanoindentation measurements are valuable in determining the elastic-plastic properties of thin films, and can be enhanced with dynamic measurement capabilities for viscoelastic property determination. Additional Bruker nanomechanical testing techniques provide the ability to quantify thin film interfacial adhesion properties. The ability to rapidly measure and control these properties on the nanoscale enables the material and process technologies required for next-generation electronic devices.

Standalone Equipment for Deposition and Lithography Characterization

Hysitron TI 980 TriboIndenter | Bruker

TI 980 TriboIndenter

Bruker's most advanced nanomechanical and nanotribological test instrument, operating at the intersection of maximum performance, flexibility, reliability, sensitivity and speed.

Hysitron TI Premier | Bruker

TI Premier

Versatile nanomechanical and nanotribological test instrument, supporting a broad range of hybrid and correlative characterization techniques.

Hysitron TS 77 Select Nanoindenter | Bruker

TS 77 Select

Dedicated nanomechanical test instruments, providing an essential toolkit of core nanoscale mechanical characterization techniques.

Microscope Instruments for Deposition and Lithography Characterization

Hysitron PI 85L SEM PicoIndenter | Bruker

PI 85L SEM PicoIndenter

Depth-sensing nanomechanical test instrument that can be interfaced with scanning electron microscopes (SEM).

Hysitron PI 8X SEM PicoIndenter BRUKER

PI 89 SEM PicoIndenter

Bruker’s comprehensive in-situ nanomechanical test instrument for SEM and FIB/SEM, featuring our full suite of techniques.

Hysitron PI 95 TEM PicoIndenter | Bruker

PI 95 TEM PicoIndenter

The first full-fledged depth-sensing indenter capable of direct-observation nanomechanical testing inside a transmission electron microscope (TEM).


Hysitron TS 75 TriboScope | Bruker

TS 75 TriboScope

Quantitative, rigid-probe nanoindentation and nanotribological characterization on your existing AFM.