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Title: Channel cracks in atomic-layer and molecular-layer deposited multilayer thin film coatings

Metal oxide thin film coatings produced by atomic layer deposition have been shown to be an effective permeation barrier. The primary failure mode of such coatings under tensile loads is the propagation of channel cracks that penetrate vertically into the coating films. Recently, multi-layer structures that combine the metal oxide material with relatively soft polymeric layers produced by molecular layer deposition have been proposed to create composite thin films with desired properties, including potentially enhanced resistance to fracture. In this paper, we study the effects of layer geometry and material properties on the critical strain for channel crack propagation in the multi-layer composite films. Using finite element simulations and a thin-film fracture mechanics formalism, we show that if the fracture energy of the polymeric layer is lower than that of the metal oxide layer, the channel crack tends to penetrate through the entire composite film, and dividing the metal oxide and polymeric materials into thinner layers leads to a smaller critical strain. However, if the fracture energy of the polymeric material is high so that cracks only run through the metal oxide layers, more layers can result in a larger critical strain. For intermediate fracture energy of the polymer material,more » we developed a design map that identifies the optimal structure for given fracture energies and thicknesses of the metal oxide and polymeric layers. These results can facilitate the design of mechanically robust permeation barriers, an important component for the development of flexible electronics.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G8 (Canada)
  2. (United States)
  3. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309 (United States)
  4. (Singapore)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22303994
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 23; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; COATINGS; CRACK PROPAGATION; DEPOSITION; DIFFUSION BARRIERS; FINITE ELEMENT METHOD; FRACTURES; LAYERS; OXIDES; POLYMERS; SIMULATION; STRAINS; THICKNESS; THIN FILMS