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Title: Phase transformation as the single-mode mechanical deformation of silicon

The mixture of the metastable body-centered cubic (bc8) and rhombohedral (r8) phases of silicon that is formed via nanoindentation of diamond cubic (dc) silicon exhibits properties that are of scientifc and technological interest. This letter demonstrates that large regions of this mixed phase can be formed in crystalline Si via nanoindentation without signifcant damage to the surrounding crystal. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy is used to show that volumes 6 μm wide and up to 650 nm deep can be generated in this way using a spherical tip of ~21.5 μm diameter. The phase transformed region is characterised using both Raman microspectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. It is found that uniform loading using large spherical indenters can favor phase transformation as the sole deformation mechanism as long as the maximum load is below a critical level. We suggest that the sluggish nature of the transformation from the dc-Si phase to the metallic (b-Sn) phase normally results in competing deformation mechanisms such as slip and cracking but these can be suppressed by controlled loading conditions.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Australian National Univ., Canberra (Australia)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 106; Journal Issue: 25; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; crystal defects; nanotechnology; plasticity; extrusion; scanning electron microscopy
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1226765