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Mechanical Properties of Thin Films (class notes for a graduate class at Stanford University)

The attached file is a set of class notes developed by W.D. Nix of Stanford University and used in a graduate course on Mechanical Properties of Thin Films. These notes have been used in the graduate course MSE 353 since the late 1980's. That course has been taught every year or so since that time. The notes were last updated in January of 2005. The reader will see a note to the effect that many of the figures and illustrations in the file have been taken from the work of students and colleagues at Stanford without proper attribution. Those students and colleagues are hereby thanked for their contributions. The approach taken in developing these notes has been elementary and tutorial. No attempt has been made to create an authoritative treatise.Questions regarding these notes should be addressed to W.D. Nix at Stanford (

PDF icon 353 Class Notes 2005.pdf33.17 MB


Rui Huang's picture

Dear Professor Nix:

Thank you for sharing your notes!

I am teaching a similar class this semester, which is over now. I have downloaded your notes for future uses in my classes. Because of my background, I focus more on mechanics in my class, following a similar structure as the book by Freund and Suresh. My colleague, Paul Ho, teaches two other courses focusing on the processes and materials aspects of thin films. I believe several others teach similar thin film classes elsewhere. It would be nice to compare and share notes. I will post my slides later.


Teng Li's picture

Dear Prof. Nix:

Thanks for sharing your notes here in iMechanica.  I believe many of the iMechanicians who has downloaded your notes, as Rui and I did, will appreciate your generosity.

Here I propose this post to serve as a virtual classroom of "Mechanical properties of thin films" for students from all over the world, where students can raise questions, and then experts like Prof. Nix can answer.   This way, education reaches the world without boundary.

Rui: also look forward to your slides on this. 


Ting Tsui's picture

This set of class notes presented a wide range of thin film mechanics topics that are important for the integrated circuit (IC) and other thin film industries. In fact, most of my basic thin film mechanics knowledge was obtained from this set of notes ~10 years ago. The document introduces the basic concepts of residual stress in thin films and its impact on wafer curvature. Wafer curvature technique is still one of the most common and important methods for daily process qualifications in any IC fabrication plant. Film stress is the driving force for most of the catastrophic failures (delamination and cracking) during IC production. Professor Nix’s class notes also discussed other experimental methods, such as XRD, that are commonly used to extract stress components in metal interconnect line generated during processing. These are useful tools in understanding the effects of process integration methods on the via-stress-voiding defects. Contact mechanics in nanometer scale (nanoindentation) were also introduced in this class. They are important in understanding the physics of chemical mechanical polish (CMP) and tribology processing.

zhan-sheng guo's picture

Dear Professor Nix:

Thank you very for sharing your notes!

I would like learning this note carefully. I'm interest in this field.


Thanks for a useful notes on thin-film

Thank you Prof. Nix for the Note. Yours, Vahid

Thank you for your useful notes. I am teaching micromechanics of materials next semester and I am sure that I could use some of your notes.

Thanks, great article, good film.winx скачать

layth's picture

Thanks indeed to you Professor Nix's, your support is highly appreciated.


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