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EM 397 Term Paper: Effects of Substrate Compliance on Buckling Delamination of Thin Films under Compression

Haixia Mei's picture

For films or coatings deposited on substrate at high temperature, residual compressive stresses are often induced in the surface layers because of the mismatch in the thermal expansion coefficients. Under such compressive residual stresses, the surface thin film is susceptible to buckling-driven delamination. Various shapes of buckled region are observed, including long straight-sided blisters, circular and the ‘telephone cord’ blister.

Many studies have been done on systems with rigid substrates. Recent studies have shown that substrate compliance has an importance influence on both the film buckling stress and the energy release rate of the interface delamination crack when the substrate is very compliant compared with the film. This report will focus on the effects of substrate compliance on a straight –sided delamination buckle.


  1. Yu, H.H. and J.W. Hutchinson(2002). Influence of substrate compliance on buckling delaminaton of thin films. International Journal of Fracture 113, 39-55.
  2. Cotterell, B. and Chen, Z. (2000). Buckling and crackling of thin films on compliant substrates under compression. International Journal of Fracture 104, 169-179.
PDF icon Term Paper_EM397 Thin Films.pdf246.5 KB


This is really a traditional area in Suo Zhigang's group, but it is interesting. I think you can combine the application of the blister test which is widely used in MEMS research. I also admire you being a member of Huang's group.
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