High ductility of a metal film adherent on a polymer substrate

Yong XIANG, Teng LI, Zhigang SUO, Joost J. VLASSAK*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

282 Citations (Scopus)


In recent development of deformable electronics, it has been noticed that thin metal films often rupture at small tensile strains. Here we report experiments with Cu films deposited on polymeric substrates and show that the rupture strains of the metal films are sensitive to their adhesion to the substrates. Well-bonded Cu films can sustain strains up to 10% without appreciable cracks and up to 30% with discontinuous microcracks. By contrast, poorly bonded Cu films form channel cracks at strains about 2%. The cracks form by a mixture of strain localization and intergranular fracture. The films rupture at large strains when the localization is retarded by the adherent substrates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161910
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number16
Early online date12 Oct 2005
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the NSF (DMR-0133559) and by the MRSEC at Harvard University.


Dive into the research topics of 'High ductility of a metal film adherent on a polymer substrate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this