The mixed-mode interfacial adhesion strength between a gold (Au) thin film and an anisotropic passivated silicon (Si) substrate is measured using laser-induced stress wave loading. Test specimens are prepared by bonding a fused silica (FS) prism to the back side of a 〈1 0 0〉 Si substrate with a thin silicon nitride (SixNy) passivation layer deposited on the top surface. A high-amplitude stress wave is developed by pulsed laser ablation of a sacrificial absorbing layer on one of the lateral surfaces of the FS prism. Due to the negative non-linear elastic properties of the FS, the compressive stress wave evolves into a decompression shock with fast fall time. Careful selection of the incident angle between the pulse and the FS/Si interface generates a mode-converted shear wave in refraction, subjecting the SixNy/Au thin film interface to dynamic mixed-mode loading, sufficient to cause interfacial fracture. A detailed analysis of the anisotropic wave propagation combined with interferometric measurements of surface displacements enables calculation of the interfacial stresses developed under mixed-mode loading. The mixed-mode interfacial strength is compared to the interfacial strength measured under purely tensile loading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-66
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Decompression shock
  • Dynamic wave propagation
  • Laser spallation
  • Mixed-mode loading
  • Thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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