Toughness measurement of thin films: a critical review

Sam Zhang, Deen Sun, Yong Qing Fu, Hejun Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

296 Citations (Scopus)


At present, there is neither standard test procedure nor standard methodology for assessment of toughness of thin films. However, researchers have long been trying to make such measurements, thus a spectrum of test methods have been developed, mostly each in its own way. As qualitative or semiquantitative assessment, a simple plasticity measurement or scratch adhesion test can mostly suffice. For quantitative description, however, a choice of bending, buckling, indentation, scratching, or tensile test has to be made. These testing methods are either stress-based or energy-based. This paper gives a critical review on these methods and concludes that, for thin films, the energy-based approach, especially the one independent of substrate, is more advantageous.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-84
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005


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