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Indentation of Single-Crystal Silicon Nanolines: Buckling and Contact Friction at Nanoscale



Bin Li, Qiu Zhao, Huai Huang, Zhiquan Luo, Jay Im, Michael W. Cresswell, Richard A. Allen, Min K. Kang, Rui Huang, Paul S. Ho


Silicon nanostructures are essential building blocks for nanoelectronic devices and nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS). Mechanical characterization at nanoscale is important for practical applications but remains challenging as the mechanical properties such as yield strength, fracture strength, contact and friction properties, are often different at the nanoscale from their bulk properties. In this work, single-crystal silicon nanolines (SiNLs) were characterized by nanoindentation tests using an atomic force microscope (AFM). The SiNLs were fabricated by a top-down process combining electron-beam lithography (EBL) and anisotropic wet etching (AWE) on a silicon (110) wafer. High-quality SiNLs with 24 nm line width and an aspect (height/width) ratio of 15 were fabricated for the mechanical characterization. A distinct mechanical behavior was observed, with a recoverable elastic deformation much larger than the elastic limit of bulk silicon. The mechanics of SiNLs under indentation was analyzed by finite element simulations, which revealed two different buckling modes depending on the contact friction at the nanoscale.
Advanced Materials


Silicon nanolines, Anisotropic wet etching, Nanoindentation


Li, B. , Zhao, Q. , Huang, H. , Luo, Z. , Im, J. , Cresswell, M. , Allen, R. , Kang, M. , Huang, R. and Ho, P. (2009), Indentation of Single-Crystal Silicon Nanolines: Buckling and Contact Friction at Nanoscale, Advanced Materials, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created April 7, 2009, Updated October 12, 2021