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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 969580, 8 pages
Research Article

Effect of Annealing on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Magnetron Sputtered Cu Thin Films

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanxi Key Laboratory of Metallic Materials Forming Theory and Technology, Taiyuan University of Science and Technology, Taiyuan 030024, China

Received 11 December 2014; Revised 26 February 2015; Accepted 26 February 2015

Academic Editor: Filippo Giannazzo

Copyright © 2015 Shiwen Du and Yongtang Li. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cu thin films were deposited on Si substrates using direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering. Microstructure evolution and mechanical properties of Cu thin films with different annealing temperatures were investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and nanoindentation. The surface morphology, roughness, and grain size of the Cu films were characterized by AFM. The minimization of energy including surface energy, interface energy, and strain energy (elastic strain energy and plastic strain energy) controlled the microstructural evolution. A classical Hall-Petch relationship was exhibited between the yield stress and grain size. The residual stress depended on crystal orientation. The residual stress as-deposited was of tension and decreased with decreasing of (111) orientation. The ratio of texture coefficient of (111)/(220) can be used as a merit for the state of residual stress.