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Nanomechanics of coatings for electronic and optical applications

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In most coating applications damage resistance is controlled by the mechanical properties of the coating, interface and substrate. For electronic and optical applications the design of coating- substrate systems has been predominantly controlled by their functional properties but more recently the mechanical response of the system has been used to enhance functional properties, as in the case of strained silicon/SiGe microelectronic devices where tensile strain has been used to enhance mobility and increase device speed. As coatings become more complex, with multilayer and graded architectures now in widespread use, it is very important to obtain the mechanical properties (such as hardness, elastic modulus, fracture toughness, etc.) of individual coating layers for use in design calculations and have failure-related design criteria which are valid for such multilayer systems. Nanoindentation testing is often the only viable approach to assess the damage mechanisms and properties of very thin coatings (

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