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Bending manipulation and measurements of fracture strength of silicon and oxidized silicon nanowires by atomic force microscopy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 November 2011

Gheorghe Stan*
Ceramics Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899
Sergiy Krylyuk
Metallurgy Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899; and Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742
Albert V. Davydov
Metallurgy Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899
Robert F. Cook
Ceramics Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
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In this work, the ultimate bending strengths of as-grown Si and fully oxidized Si nanowires (NWs) were investigated by using a new atomic force microscopy (AFM) bending method. NWs dispersed on Si substrates were bent into hook and loop configurations by AFM manipulation. The adhesion between NWs and the substrate provided sufficient restraint to retain NWs in imposed bent states and allowed subsequent AFM imaging. The stress and friction force distributions along the bent NWs were calculated based on the in-plane configurations of the NWs in the AFM images. As revealed from the last-achieved bending state, before fracture, fracture strengths close to the ideal strength of materials were attained in these measurements: 17.3 GPa for Si NWs and 6.2 GPa for fully oxidized Si NWs.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2011

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