The need for a simple and effective characterization technique for thin-film materials which are widely used in MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems), using commonly available equipment, has prompted consideration of cantilever beam-based methods. The advantages of this class of techniques which employ a scanning surface profiler to deform micro-cantilevers are simplicity, speed, cost and wide applicability. A technique for extracting Young?s modulus from static deflection data is developed in this paper and validated in experiments on thin-film specimens of silicon nitride deposited on a silicon substrate under different conditions. Finite element analysis is used to assess the influence of factors affecting the bending of thin films, and thus guide the analysis of micro-cantilever deflection data for reliable characterization of the material.
McShane, G. J., Boutchich, M., Phani, A. S., Moore, D. F., & Lu, T. J. (2006). Young's modulus measurement of thin-film materials using micro-cantilevers. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 16(10), 1926-1934. https://doi.org/10.1088/0960-1317/16/10/003