Quantitative analysis of bending fracture resistance of nanoscale Cu-buffered ZnO:Al thin films on a polymer substrate

Seung Won Kim, Hong Je Choi, Yong Soo Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Improving the fracture resistance of fragile inorganic thin films under various bending conditions is critical in flexible thin-film systems. Here, we introduce a Cu-buffer-layer approach to evaluate the level of enhancement in the bending fracture behavior of Al-doped ZnO (AZO) thin films on the basis of quantitative mechanical parameters such as fracture energy, film strength and fracture toughness. These fracture behaviors of thin films sputter-deposited onto polyethersulfone substrates were observed to depend largely on the thickness of the Cu buffer layer. In the case of thin films with a 20 nm-thick Cu buffer layer, crack-initiating bending strain was substantially improved from ∼1.04% to ∼1.37%; this corresponds to an improvement of ∼31.7%. The substantial improvement is attributed to the presence of the Cu buffer layer, which helps prevent the formation of cracks by absorbing crack-initiating tensile stress. The calculated values of fracture energy and film strength support well the Cu thickness dependence of fracture behavior under bending operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by a grant (NRF- 2016M3A7B4910151 ) from the National Research Foundation of Korea .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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