Assessment of adhesion between thin film and silicon based on a scratch test

Jung Eun Lee, Hyun Joon Kim, Dae Eun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Thin film coatings are commonly utilized to prevent wear, modify surface properties, and manipulate the frictional behavior of various mechanical systems. The behavior of a coating has a direct effect on the life as well as performance of the system. However, the coating itself is subject to damage, and the quality of the coating is related to the adhesion characteristics between the coating and the substrate. Therefore, a quantitative assessment of the adhesion properties of thin film is important to guarantee the reliability of not only the thin film but also the mechanical system. In this study, ramp loading scratch tests were performed to assess the adhesion characteristics of Ag and ZnO thin films coated on a silicon wafer. Silver thin film, deposited by sputtering, and ZnO thin film, fabricated by a sol-gel method, were used as scratch specimens. Scratch tests using a diamond tip were performed with a continuously increasing normal force. During the scratch test, the normal and frictional forces were monitored to assess the integrity of the film. The Benjamin and Weaver model commonly used for obtaining the horizontal force during the scratching of films coated on a substrate showed large discrepancies with the experimental results. In this work, the model was modified with a plowing term to minimize the difference between the experimental and theoretical results. Using the modified model, the experimental results could be predicted with an accuracy of about 10%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Mechanical Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Economy (2008-N-PV08-P-06-0-000).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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