Unexpected slip mechanism induced by the reduced dimensions in silicon nanostructures: Atomistic study

J Guenole and S Brochard and J Godet, ACTA MATERIALIA, 59, 7464-7472 (2011).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2011.08.039

We have performed molecular dynamics simulations and first-principles calculations to investigate the first stages of plasticity in single- crystalline silicon nanostructures free of initial defects, under compressive and tensile strain along the 0 0 1 axis. In compression especially, we observe the activation of 0 1 1 planes, both in nanowires and in thin films, regardless of the temperature and the interatomic potential used. The occurrence of such an unexpected slip system can be explained by a careful investigation of the generalized stacking fault energy under different stress conditions, and the associated restoring forces. Finally, the activation of the 0 1 1 planes is shown to be an indirect consequence of the small dimensions of the nanostructures considered. (C) 2011 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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