Electron-beam-induced elastic-plastic transition in Si nanowires

Nano Lett. 2012 May 9;12(5):2379-85. doi: 10.1021/nl3003528. Epub 2012 Apr 19.


It is generally accepted that silicon nanowires (Si NWs) exhibit linear elastic behavior until fracture without any appreciable plastic deformation. However, the plasticity of Si NWs can be triggered under low strain rate inside the transmission electron microscope (TEM). In this report, two in situ TEM experiments were conducted to investigate the electron-beam (e-beam) effect on the plasticity of Si NWs. An e-beam illuminating with a low current intensity would result in the bond re-forming processes, achieving the plastic deformation with a bent strain over 40% in Si NWs near the room temperature. In addition, an effective method was proposed to shape the Si NWs, where an e-beam-induced elastic-plastic (E-P) transition took place.