Orientation-dependent mechanical behavior and phase transformation of mono-crystalline silicon

JP Sun and AB Ma and JH Jiang and J Han and Y Han, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 119, 095904 (2016).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4942933

We perform a large-scale molecular dynamics simulation of nanoindentation on the (100), (110), and (111) oriented silicon surface to investigate the orientation-dependent mechanical behavior and phase transformation of monocrystalline silicon. The results show both the remarkable anisotropic mechanical behavior and structure phase transformation of monocrystalline silicon. The mechanical behavior of the (110) and (111) oriented surfaces are similar (has a high indentation modulus, low critical indentation depth for the onset of plastic deformation) but quite different from the (100) oriented surface. The mechanical behavior is carefully linked to the phase transformation. The formation of crystalline bct5 phase and beta-Si phase is the fundamental phase transformation mechanism for (100) oriented surface. But, a large number of amorphous silicon can be found beneath the indenter for (110) and (111) oriented surface beside the bct5 phase and beta-Si phase. The beta-Si phase region is relatively small for (110) and (111) oriented surface, even cannot be detected for (111) oriented surface. This result highlights the dominating role of the amorphous transformation in the mechanical behavior of monocrystalline silicon. Additionally, our results indicate that the high pressure phases form a symmetrical, anisotropic pattern on the indented surface for all three oriented surface which is linked to the active 111< 110 > slip systems. (C) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.

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