In Situ Investigation of Nanoabrasive Wear of Silicon

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Ingole

Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123

A. Schwartzman

Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

H. Liang1

Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123hliang@tamu.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Tribol 129(1), 11-16 (Jun 27, 2006) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2372764 History: Received July 19, 2005; Revised June 27, 2006

Investigation of abrasive wear at the nanometer-length scale is presented on single crystalline (001) and amorphous silicon. Experiments were performed using nanoindentation and nanoscratch approaches. Surface characterization was carried out using an atomic force microscope. Results show that both materials behave quite differently from each other during indentation and scratch. Specifically, amorphous silicon is proven to be more unstable during scratching than single crystal silicon. The comparison of in situ and ex situ normal displacement was made. Evidence was found on the hysteretic and viscoplastic behavior of amorphous silicon in nanoscratch that is also seen in indentation. Furthermore, it is found that this material is unstable under stress within small scales. Indications of phase transformation, (reverse) densification, and transition of elastic-plastic deformation are seen. These observations, enabled on silicon using an in situ and nanometer length scale process, are fundamentally different from the understanding of conventional abrasive wear.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Scanning electron microscopy micrograph showing a Berkervich diamond tip

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Figure 2

Nanoindentation on the surface of amorphous and crystalline silicon

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Figure 3

Increasing elastic behavior of Si (a) c-Si and (b) a-Si after few indents. Loading curve of first and 76th indent (c) c-Si and (d) a-Si.

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Figure 4

Force-distance curve during scratch test on Si surface (a) c-Si and (b) a-Si

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Figure 5

Magnified force-distance curve during scratch on (a) c-Si and (b) a-Si

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Figure 6

In situ scratch profile on a-Si: (a), 3D AFM profile of a scratch; (b), the cross section profile showing materials pile up; (c) the longitudinal profile after test showing high point at the middle section; and (d) the normal displacement of the scratch during test

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Figure 7

AFM images of scratch on a-Si (a) topography and (b) phase image



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