Leakage current and dielectric breakdown effects are conventionally studied under electrical fields alone, with little regard for mechanical stresses. In this letter, we demonstrate that mechanical stress can influence the reliability of dielectrics even at lower field strengths. We applied tensile stress (up to 8 MPa) to a 33% porous, 504 nm thick carbon doped oxide thin film and measured the leakage current at constant electrical fields (up to 2.5 MV/cm). The observed increase in leakage current at relatively low electric fields suggests that mechanical stress assists in trap/defect mediated conduction by reducing the energy barrier potential to de-trap charges in the dielectric.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering