Enhanced Fracture Resistance of Flexible ZnO:Al Thin Films in Situ Sputtered on Bent Polymer Substrates
journal contributionposted on 19.08.2015, 00:00 by Hong Rak Choi, Senthil Kumar Eswaran, Seung Min Lee, Yong Soo Cho
Improving the fracture resistance of inorganic thin films is one of the key challenges in flexible electronic devices. A nonconventional in situ sputtering method is introduced to induce residual compressive stress in ZnO:Al thin films during deposition on a bent polymer substrate. The films grown under a larger prebending strain resulted in a higher fracture resistance to applied strains by exhibiting a ∼ 70% improvement in crack-initiating critical strain compared with the reference sample grown without bending. This significant improvement is attributed to the induced residual stress, which helps to prevent the formation of cracks by counteracting the applied strain.