Nanoindentation-induced phase transformation in (1 1 0)-oriented Si single-crystals

Sheng Rui Jian*, Guo Ju Chen, Jenh-Yih Juang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Pressure-induced plastic deformation and phase transformations manifested as the discontinuities displayed in the loading and unloading segments of the load-displacement curves were investigated by performing the cyclic nanoindentation tests on the (1 1 0)-oriented Si single-crystal with a Berkovich diamond indenter. The resultant phases after indentation were examined by using the cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (XTEM) technique. The behaviors of the discontinuities displayed on the loading and re-loading segments of the load-displacement curves are found to closely correlate to the formation of Si-II metallic phase, while those exhibiting on the unloading segments are relating to the formation of metastable phases of Si-III, Si-XII, and amorphous silicon as identified by TEM selected area diffraction (SAD) analyses. Results revealed that the primary indentation-induced deformation mechanism in Si is intimately depending on the detailed stress distributions, especially the reversible Si-II ↔ Si-XII/Si-III phase transformations might have further complicated the resultant phase distribution. In addition to the frequently observed stress-induced phase transformations and/or crack formations, evidence of dislocation slip bands was also observed in tests of Berkovich nanoindentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy
  • Focused ion beam
  • Nanoindentation
  • Si(1 1 0)

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