Methodologies for measuring residual stress distributions in epitaxial thin films

M. Liu, Haihui Ruan, L. C. Zhang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Residual stresses in a thin film deposited on a dissimilar substrate can bring about various interface or subsurface damages, such as delamination, dislocation, twinning and cracking. In high performance integrated circuits and MEMS, a too high residual stress can significantly alter their electronic properties. A proper residual stress characterization needs the description of full stress tensors and their variations with thickness. The problem is that film thickness measurement requires different means, and that direct measurement techniques to fulfill the tasks are not straightforward. This paper provides a simple method using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman scattering for the measurement of residual stresses and their thickness dependence. Using the epitaxial silicon film on a sapphire substrate as an example, this paper demonstrates that the improved XRD technique can make use of multiple diffraction peaks to give rise to a highly accurate stress tensor. The co-existence of silicon and sapphire peaks in a Raman spectrum then allows a simultaneous measurement of film thickness from the peak intensity ratio and the residual stress from the peak shift. The paper also concludes the relation between film thickness and residual stresses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEighth International Symposium on Precision Engineering Measurements and Instrumentation
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event8th International Symposium on Precision Engineering Measurements and Instrumentation - Chengdu, China
Duration: 8 Aug 201211 Aug 2012


Conference8th International Symposium on Precision Engineering Measurements and Instrumentation


  • Epitaxial thin films
  • Raman
  • Residual stress
  • X-ray diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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