Mechanical characterization of LiPON films using nanoindentation
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Nanoindentation has been used to characterize the elastic modulus and hardness of LiPON films ranging in thickness from 1 to 10 m. Four fully dense, amorphous films were deposited on glass and sapphire substrates with one film annealed at 200 C for 20 min. The modulus of LiPON is found to be approximately 77 GPa, and argued to be independent of the substrate type, film thickness, and annealing. Based on the numerical analysis of Monroe and Newman, this value may be sufficiently high to mechanically suppress dendrite formation at the lithium/LiPON interface in thin film batteries . Using Sneddon's stiffness equation and assuming the modulus is 77 GPa, the hardness is found to be approximately 3.9 GPa for all but the annealed film. The hardness of the annealed film is approximately 5% higher, at 4.1 GPa. Atomic force microscopy images of the residual hardness impressions confirm the unexpected increase in hardness of the annealed film. Surprisingly, the indentation data also reveal time-dependent behavior in all four films. This indicates that creep may also play a significant role in determining how LiPON responds to complex loading conditions and could be important in relieving stresses as they develop during service. 2011 Elsevier B.V.