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Nano Lett. 2006 Apr;6(4):622-5.

Measurement of the bending strength of vapor-liquid-solid grown silicon nanowires.

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EMPA Materials Science and Technology, Feuerwerkerstrasse 39, 3602 Thun, Switzerland.


The fracture strength of silicon nanowires grown on a [111] silicon substrate by the vapor-liquid-solid process was measured. The nanowires, with diameters between 100 and 200 nm and a typical length of 2 microm, were subjected to bending tests using an atomic force microscopy setup inside a scanning electron microscope. The average strength calculated from the maximum nanowire deflection before fracture was around 12 GPa, which is 6% of the Young's modulus of silicon along the nanowire direction. This value is close to the theoretical fracture strength, which indicates that surface or volume defects, if present, play only a minor role in fracture initiation.

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