N. George Mathews; A. Lambai; G. Mohanty; N. Venkataramani; G. Dehm; B. Nagamani Jaya
Materials & Design (2023) 112440-112440
Damage tolerance of a thin film attached to a substrate is dependent on several parameters such as film thickness, film orientation, residual stresses, nature of interfaces, microstructure and defects present. Here we study the fracture resistance and crack growth trajectory in BaTiO3 thin films attached to elasticially stiff substrates using micromechanical experiments and finite element modelling (FEM). Microcantilever fracture tests are carried out on bi-layered systems of BaTiO3 film on Pt-Si and SrTiO3 substrates to study the effect of interfaces, texture and elastic mismatch on fracture toughness. The substrates in the bi-layers are chosen to force the crack to experience a shielding effect in terms of a decrease in the crack driving force. Experiments revealed an unexpectedly large increase in fracture toughness when the crack tip is closer to a stiffer substrate, qualitatively matching the predictions from the numerical model. The bi-layered films attached to the substrate showed 125% (on Pt-Si) and 160% (on SrTiO3) increase in fracture toughness compared to the free-standing films, for the first time, revealing the significant effect of elastic modulus of the substrate on improving the fracture resistance at such micrometer length scales.