An experimental study has been made of film delamination and cracking produced by indentation of diamond-like films deposited on glass substrates. In the indentation experiments, a Vickers indenter was loaded normally against a film surface with the load being kept in the range of 2g to 300g. The contact region was observed and photographed in-situ using a high resolution, optical microscope and video imaging system, while the indentation load-history was measured with a piezo-electric force sensor attached to the indenter. The experiments have enabled detailed observations to be made of the contact damage such as the initiation of film delamination and cracks in the film; the loads at which these events occur and their evolution during loading and unloading; and the ejection of fractured film fragments from the substrate. The implications of these results to characterizing the relative failure resistance of various films and for estimating their cohesive and adhesive strengths are discussed.

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