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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2008, Article ID 132728, 11 pages
Research Article

Buckling of Single-Crystal Silicon Nanolines under Indentation

1Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, USA
2Microelectronics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78758, USA

Received 1 October 2007; Accepted 27 December 2007

Academic Editor: Junlan Wang

Copyright © 2008 Min K. Kang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Atomic force microscope-(AFM-) based indentation tests were performed to examine mechanical properties of parallel single-crystal silicon nanolines (SiNLs) of sub-100-nm line width, fabricated by a process combining electron-beam lithography and anisotropic wet etching. The SiNLs have straight and nearly atomically flat sidewalls, and the cross section is almost perfectly rectangular with uniform width and height along the longitudinal direction. The measured load-displacement curves from the indentation tests show an instability with large displacement bursts at a critical load ranging from 480  to 700  . This phenomenon is attributed to a transition of the buckling mode of the SiNLs under indentation. Using a set of finite element models with postbuckling analyses, we analyze the indentation-induced buckling modes and investigate the effects of tip location, contact friction, and substrate deformation on the critical load of mode transition. The results demonstrate a unique approach for the study of nanomaterials and patterned nanostructures via a combination of experiments and modeling.