Evaluation of the adhesion on the nano-scaled polymeric film systems

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We applied scanning acoustic microscopy known as the V(z) curve technique to photoresist thin-film systems for the evaluation of the adhesive strength at the film-substrate interface. Through the measurement of the SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) velocity, the V(z) curve analysis allows us to quantify the stiffness of the film-substrate interface. In addition, we conducted a nano-scratch test to quantify the ultimate strength of the adhesion through the evaluation of the critical load. To vary the adhesive conditions, we prepared thin-film specimens with three different types of pre-coating surface treatments, i.e., oxygen-plasma bombardment, HMDS (Hexametyldisilazane) treatment and untreated. The magnitudes of the quantified stiffness and ultimate strength are found consistent with each other for all the specimens tested, indicating that the pre-coating surface treatment can strengthen both the stiffness and ultimate strength of the adhesion. The results of this study demonstrate the usefulness of the V(Z) analysis as a nondestructive method to evaluate the adhesion strength of nano-structured thin-film systems.

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