The failure by debonding of 400 nm Al thin films on 152 μm-thick polyimide substrates has been studied in uniaxial tension experiments. To explain the edge debond of the Al film, the shear stress field along the film-substrate interface is determined. An analytical solution for the stress field exhibits a square root singularity near the free edges. The associated stress intensity factor is calculated in closed form by an asymptotic analysis. For a given loading, the stress intensity factor decreases with increasing length-to-thickness ratio of the film, and with decreasing film-to-substrate stiffness ratio. Governed by a single, dimensionless parameter, these trends are reported quantitatively in the form of a plot. Close correspondence is found for the interfacial shear stresses predicted by the presented method and by a finite element analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1209
Number of pages13
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 14 2002


  • Interface failure
  • Multilayers
  • Nanofilms
  • Structural behavior
  • Surfaces & interfaces
  • Theory & modeling
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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