Tailoring the chemo-mechanical properties of metal-dielectric interfaces is crucial for many applications including nanodevice wiring, packaging, composites, and catalysis. Here, we combine moisture-induced fracture tests, electron spectroscopy, and density functional theory calculations to reveal fracture toughness partitioning and atomistic delamination mechanisms at copper-silica interfaces. Copper plasticity is supported above a threshold work of adhesion and delamination occurs by moisture-induced Cu-O bond scission in Cu-O-Si bridges. These results provide insights into the effects of the nature of metal-oxygen bonding on moisture-induced delamination of metal-dielectric interfaces.

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