The bulge test apparatus designed for the measurement of mechanical material properties of thin films was constructed and tested. The principle of the test is to apply pressure on a free-standing membrane, to measure the membrane shape and to analyse the results. Commercially available silicon nitride (Si3N4) thin films were used for the testing. It is shown that interferometric set-up designed and assembled for the apparatus enables precise determination of 3D shape of the whole membrane, which allows more precise determination of materials parameters compared to measurement of the height of the center of the membrane only. Fit of an analytical formula gives values of Young modulus and residual stress with very good agreement with the literature data. Moreover, FEM model of the bulged membrane was developed. The main aim of the effort is to enable measurement of plastic properties of a thin film of interest, that will be deposited on the Si3N4 membrane with known properties and bulge test will be performed on the bilayer specimen. Subsequently, the material properties of the thin film will be obtained using FEM analysis.Keywords: Thin films, Bulge test, Mechanical properties
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