We have observed the complete delamination of polycrystalline chromium films from single crystal silicon substrates during deposition due to the formation of high internal stresses. These intrinsic stresses can give rise to interfacial defects which assist in the separation of the film from the substrate. Stresses in the film are balanced by stresses in the substrate, which cause mechanical failure in the substrate near the interface. Extensive arrays of dislocations and cracking of the substrate have been observed. We find that the delamination of the films from the substrate is initiated by the formation of damage in the substrate, rather than to the film or the interface.
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