Determination of Mechanical Properties of Copper at the Micron Scale


  • CM gratefully acknowledges financial support by the Austrian Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Project P17375-N07. DK acknowledges support within the framework of the K-plus competence centre program. The authors thank M. Pečar for support with the AES analysis and Prof. Dr. R. Pippan for valuable discussions.


Using a focused ion beam workstation, micron-sized bending and compression samples were fabricated from a pure copper single crystal. The bending and compression experiments exhibited a strong size effect on the flow stress of copper, reaching values in the order of 1 GPa for the smallest test structures. Conventional strain gradient plasticity approaches are not capable of explaining this behaviour. The surface damage introduced by Ga+ ion implantation during focused ion beam preparation was investigated using Auger electron spectroscopy and its consequence on the mechanical response of the miniaturized test samples is addressed.