A new type of the sensitive specimen named 'G(c)-sensing element' that can be fabricated, using the plain and general micro-fabrication process, is proposed and modeled to measure the interfacial toughness G(c) of metal thin films on substrates. For the whole modeling process of the G(c)-sensing element, the finite element method and the concepts of the linear elastic fracture mechanics are applied. Moreover, the verification for energy-release rates calculated from the linear elastic fracture analysis is carried out, using the elastic-plastic fracture analysis. The results of this research show that the G(c)-sensing element provides a simple and convenient method for measuring the precise interfacial toughness of metal thin films on substrates. (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.