, Volume 139, Issue 3-4, pp 383-394

Orientation dependence of fracture toughness measured by indentation methods and its relation to surface energy in single crystal silicon

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Abstract

Fracture toughness of silicon crystals has been investigated using indentation methods, and their surface energies have been calculated by molecular dynamics (MD). In order to determine the most preferential fracture plane at room temperature among the crystallographic planes containing the 〈001〉, 〈110〉 and 〈111〉 directions, a conical indenter was forced into (001), (110) and (111) silicon wafers at room temperature. Dominant {110}, {111} and {110} cracks were introduced from the indents on (001), (011) and (111) wafers, respectively. Fracture occurs most easily along {110}, {111} and {110} planes among the crystallographic planes containing the 〈001〉, 〈011〉 and 〈111〉 directions, respectively. A series of surface energies of those planes were calculated by MD to confirm the orientation dependence of fracture toughness. The surface energy of the {110} plane is the minimum of 1.50 Jm−2 among planes containing the 〈001〉 and 〈111〉 directions, respectively, and that of the {111} plane is the minimum of 1.19 Jm−2 among the planes containing the 〈011〉 direction. Fracture toughness of those planes was also derived from the calculated surface energies. It was shown that the K IC value of the {110} crack plane was the minimum among those for the planes containing the 〈001〉 and 〈111〉 directions, respectively, and that K IC value of the {111} crack plane was the minimum among those for the planes containing the 〈011〉 direction. These results are in good agreement with that obtained conical indentation.