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Nanoindentation of Si Nanostructures: Buckling and Friction at Nanoscales



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


A nanoindentation system was employed to characterize mechanical properties of silicon nanolines (SiNLs), which were fabricated by an anisotropic wet etching (AWE) process. The SiNLs had the linewidth ranging from 24 nm to 90 nm, having smooth and vertical sidewalls and the aspect ratio (height/linewidth) from 7 to 18. During indentation, a buckling instability was observed at a critical load, followed by a displacement burst without a load increase, then a full recovery of displacement upon unloading. This phenomenon was explained by two bucking modes. It was also found that the difference in friction at the contact between the indenter and SiNLs directly affected buckling response of these nanolines. The friction coefficient was estimated to be in a range of 0.02 to 0.05. For experiments with large indentation displacements, irrecoverable indentation displacements were observed due to fracture of Si nanolines, with the strain to failure estimated to be from 3.8% to 9.7%. These observations indicated that the buckling behavior of SiNLs depended on the combined effects of load, line geometry, and the friction at contact. This study demonstrated a valuable approach to fabrication of well-defined Si nanoline structures and the application of the nanoindentation method for investigation of their mechanical properties at the nanoscale.
Proceedings Title
10th international workshop on stress-Induced Phenomena in metallization
Conference Dates
November 5-7, 2008
Conference Location
Austin, TX, US


Silicon nanolines, Anisotropic wet etching, Nanoindentation, Buckling instability, Displacement burst


Huang, H. , Li, B. , Zhao, Q. , Luo, Z. , Im, J. , Kang, M. , Allen, R. , Cresswell, M. , Huang, R. and Ho, P. (2009), Nanoindentation of Si Nanostructures: Buckling and Friction at Nanoscales, 10th international workshop on stress-Induced Phenomena in metallization, Austin, TX, US, [online], (Accessed October 4, 2023)
Created September 17, 2009, Updated October 12, 2021