Elastic Properties and Buckling of Silicon Nanowires


  • C. L. Hsin and W. J. Mai contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by DOE BES (DE-FG02-07ER46394), NSF (DMS 0706436), and the National Science Council of the Republic of China (Taiwan) under grant NSC 96-2120-M-007-006.


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The ultrahigh flexibility and strong mechanical toughness of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) is demonstrated using manipulation and measurements on buckled SiNWs in a scanning electron microscope (see figure). The experimental data and calculated results show that the nanowire can bear a large strain (1.5%), much more than the bulk material, while the elastic constant of the NW is similar to that of the bulk.