The increasing miniaturization of components in microelectronic devices, brings a variety of new challenges encompassing the synthesis, as well as from a mechanical testing point of view. Therefore, it is important to develop experimental approaches that can deliver quantifiable and comparable results for evaluation of those components at the native scale they are used in, i.e. in the range of nano- to micrometers. As one of the most common reasons for failure is fracture, it is vital to understand the governing processes thereof.
A promising approach for that is micromechanical testing inside a scanning electron microscope (SEM), which gives both, quantifiable mechanical data as well as in-situ information from the SEM images.
However, even considering this additional layer of information, the determination of crack extension remains challenging. Therefore, we utilize a continuous measurement of compliance based on an overlying sinusoidal signal in addition with numerical data to evaluate the actual crack length in-situ.
Given the fact that any standardized evaluation techniques rely on assumptions regarding plastic zone size and geometric relations, that can rarely be achieved in such small dimensions it is furthermore necessary to develop new methods of analysis.
The present work concentrates on the evaluation and quantification of elastic-plastic fracture mechanical experiments on various materials and materials systems, relevant for the microelectronics industry, based on in-situ micromechanical testing.