Deformation behavior of Re alloyed Mo thin films on flexible substrates: In situ fragmentation analysis supported by first-principles calculations

Year: 
2017
Month: 
8
Day: 
7
Pages: 
ARTN 7374
DOI: 
10.1038/s41598-017-07825-1
Type: 
Journal Articles
Journal: 
Scientific Reports
Volume: 
7
Abstract: 

A major obstacle in the utilization of Mo thin films in flexible electronics is their brittle fracture behavior. Within this study, alloying with Re is explored as a potential strategy to improve the resistance to fracture. The sputter-deposited Mo1−xRex films (with 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.31) were characterized in terms of structural and mechanical properties, residual stresses as well as electrical resistivity. Their deformation behavior was assessed by straining 50 nm thin films on polyimide substrates in uniaxial tension, while monitoring crack initiation and propagation in situ by optical microscopy and electrical resistance measurements. A significant toughness enhancement occurs with increasing Re content for all bodycentered cubic solid solution films (x ≤ 0.23). However, at higher Re concentrations (x > 0.23) the positive effect of Re is inhibited due to the formation of dual-phase films with the additional close packed A15 Mo3Re phase. The mechanisms responsible for the observed toughness behavior are discussed based on experimental observations and electronic structure calculations. Re gives rise to both increased plasticity and bond strengthening in these Mo-Re solid solutions.