Measurement of the bending strength of vapor-liquid-solid grown silicon nanowires

Nano Lett. 2006 Apr;6(4):622-5. doi: 10.1021/nl052223z.


The fracture strength of silicon nanowires grown on a [111] silicon substrate by the vapor-liquid-solid process was measured. The nanowires, with diameters between 100 and 200 nm and a typical length of 2 microm, were subjected to bending tests using an atomic force microscopy setup inside a scanning electron microscope. The average strength calculated from the maximum nanowire deflection before fracture was around 12 GPa, which is 6% of the Young's modulus of silicon along the nanowire direction. This value is close to the theoretical fracture strength, which indicates that surface or volume defects, if present, play only a minor role in fracture initiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Crystallization / methods*
  • Elasticity
  • Macromolecular Substances / chemistry
  • Materials Testing / methods*
  • Mechanics
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force / methods*
  • Models, Chemical
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Nanotechnology / methods
  • Nanotubes / chemistry*
  • Nanotubes / ultrastructure*
  • Particle Size
  • Protein Binding
  • Silicon / chemistry*
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Tensile Strength


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Silicon