Research Papers

Revisiting the Constrained Blister Test to Measure Thin Film Adhesion

[+] Author and Article Information
Tingting Zhu, Guangxu Li, Sinan Müftü, Kai-tak Wan

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering,
Northeastern University,
Boston, MA 02115

1Present address: Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX.

2Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received April 2, 2017; final manuscript received May 13, 2017; published online May 31, 2017. Editor: Yonggang Huang.

J. Appl. Mech 84(7), 071005 (May 31, 2017) (5 pages) Paper No: JAM-17-1179; doi: 10.1115/1.4036776 History: Received April 02, 2017; Revised May 13, 2017

A thin film is clamped at the periphery to form a circular freestanding diaphragm before a uniform pressure, p, is applied to inflate it into a blister. The bulging membrane adheres to a rigid constraining plate with height, w0, from the nondeformed membrane. Increasing pressure expands the contact circle of radius, c. Depressurization causes shrinkage of the contact and “pull-off” or spontaneous detachment from the plate. Simultaneous measurement of (p, w0, c) allows one to determine the adhesion energy, γ. A solid mechanics model is constructed based on small strain and linear elasticity, which shows a characteristic loading–unloading hysteresis. The results are consistent with a large deformation model in the literature.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic of a constrained blister test with the membrane adhering to the constraining plate

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Constrained blister test for adhesion energy γ = 5 and plate separation w0 = 1. There are two possible loading (gray solid) and unloading (dark solid) paths: (i) OAB-BCD-DHP with “pull-off” at P, or, (ii) OAM-MN with “pull-off” at N. (a) Contact radius, (b) contact angle, and (c) balancing force on the constraining plate, as a function of applied pressure. If the residual stress retained within the contact circle is ignored, the unloading curve is replaced by the thin dark dashed curve, which almost coincides with the dark solid curve here.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

The changing blister profile during loading (top) and unloading (bottom) based on Fig. 2. The flattened curve at w = w0 = 1 corresponds to the constraining plate. Along BCD the contact radius remains constant, but the contact angle increases.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Relations of “pull-off” parameters for a range of plate-substrate gap w0. (a) Critical pressure and (b) radius as functions of adhesion energy. When adhesion is stronger than a specific threshold depending on w0, suction is necessary to detach the membrane. (c) Critical contact radius as a function of critical pressure. For any w0, p* = 0 always leads to c* = 0.2060.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Contact radius as a function of applied pressure for w0 = 1 and a range of adhesion energy. The lowest curve indicates loading with θ = 0 or unloading with γ = 0. The forbidden area requires θ < 0 and is nonphysical. Curve DHP with γ = 5 corresponds to that shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The thick black curve is a special case with γ† = 9.98 and pull-off occurs when the “pull-off” pressure reduces to zero. “Pull-off” for γ = 14 occurs at P′ with a suction. All curves terminates at “pull-off” where (∂c/∂p) → ∞, and the locus is shown as gray dashed curve APPP′.



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