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Nano Lett. 2016 Jan 13;16(1):812-6. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b04989. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

Approaching the Limits of Strength: Measuring the Uniaxial Compressive Strength of Diamond at Small Scales.

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Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology , Feuerwerkerstrasse 39, Thun CH-3602, Switzerland.
Laboratory for Nanometallurgy, ETH Zürich, Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 5, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland.
Structure and Nano-/Micromechanics of Materials, Max-Planck-Institute für Eisenforschung GmbH , Max-Planck-Strasse 1, 40237 Düsseldorf, Germany.
Electron Microscopy Center, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology , Überlandstrasse 129, CH-8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.


Diamond ⟨100⟩- and ⟨111⟩-oriented nanopillars were fabricated by focused ion beam (FIB) milling from synthetic single crystals and compressed using a larger diameter diamond punch. Uniaxial compressive failure was observed via fracture with a plateau in maximum stress of ∼0.25 TPa, the highest uniaxial strength yet measured. This corresponded to maximum shear stresses that converged toward 75 GPa or ∼ G/7 at small sizes, which are very close to the ultimate theoretical yield stress estimate of G/2π.


Diamond; carbon; ideal strength; microcompression; nanomechanics; nanopillar

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