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Top-down method to introduce ultra-high elastic strain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 February 2017

Thomas Zabel*
Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology, Paul Scherrer Institut, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
Richard Geiger
Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology, Paul Scherrer Institut, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland; and Institute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Esteban Marin
Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology, Paul Scherrer Institut, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
Elisabeth Müller
Electron Microscopy Facility, Laboratory of Biomolecular Research, Paul Scherrer Institut, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
Ana Diaz
Paul Scherrer Institut, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
Christopher Bonzon
Institute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Martin J. Süess
Institute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Ralph Spolenak
Department of Materials, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Jérôme Faist
Institute for Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Hans Sigg
Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology, Paul Scherrer Institut, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
a) Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
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Elastic strain is an effective and thus widely used parameter to control and modify the electrical, optical, and magnetic properties of crystalline solid-state materials. It has a large impact on device performance and enables adjusting the materials functionality. Here, we promote a micromechanical strain enhancement technology to achieve ultra-high strain in semiconductors. The here presented suspended membranes enable the accurate control of the strain on a wafer-scale by standard top-down fabrication methods making it attractive for both device applications and also, thanks to the simplicity of the method, for fundamental research. This review aims at discussing the process of strain enhancement and its usage as an investigation platform for strain-related physical properties. Furthermore, we present design rules and a detailed analysis of fracture effects limiting the strain enhancement.

Invited Paper
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2017 

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Contributing Editor: Mathias Göken



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