Hardness of bi-layer films on a leadframe substrate

Jang Kyo Kim, D. O.Hyung Kim, Pyung Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The indentation hardness and elastic modulus of leadframe materials that consist of Cu alloy substrate and Ni/Pd bi-layer films of differing thicknesses are characterised using the micro-hardness and nano-indentation tests. The 'true' hardness of the individual substrate and film layers is evaluated based on the empirical relationship between the measured 'composite' hardness and the volume of plastically deformed material of film layers. It is found that the composite hardness determined from the nano-indentation test increases rapidly toward a peak at extremely low indentation depth of less than about 20-30 μm for all materials studied, due mainly to the finite value of the indenter tip radius and the rough surface of the specimen on the nano-scale. The composite hardness for the coated specimens decreases with further increasing indentation depth toward the hardness value of the substrate, because of the strong influence of the film/substrate interaction and the indentation size effect. The nano-indentation test in general gives higher true hardness values than those obtained from the micro-hardness test. Nevertheless, the relative hardness values of the substrate and films determined from the two tests are consistent. The hardness of Ni film is about 20 to 50% greater than that of Cu alloy, whereas the hardness of Pd film is 7 to 11 times the Ni film in the nano-indentation test.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)4185-4192
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2000


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