Effects of Defects on the Mechanical Properties of Kinked Silicon Nanowires

Y Chen and C Zhang and LY Li and CC Tuan and X Chen and J Gao and YB He and CP Wong, NANOSCALE RESEARCH LETTERS, 12, 185 (2017).

DOI: 10.1186/s11671-017-1970-7

Kinked silicon nanowires (KSiNWs) have many special properties that make them attractive for a number of applications. The mechanical properties of KSiNWs play important roles in the performance of sensors. In this work, the effects of defects on the mechanical properties of KSiNWs are studied using molecular dynamics simulations and indirectly validated by experiments. It is found that kinks are weak points in the nanowire (NW) because of inharmonious deformation, resulting in a smaller elastic modulus than that of straight NWs. In addition, surface defects have more significant effects on the mechanical properties of KSiNWs than internal defects. The effects of the width or the diameter of the defects are larger than those of the length of the defects. Overall, the elastic modulus of KSiNWs is not sensitive to defects; therefore, KSiNWs have a great potential as strain or stress sensors in special applications.

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