Open Access Nano Express

Effect of crystal plane orientation on the friction-induced nanofabrication on monocrystalline silicon

Bingjun Yu and Linmao Qian*

Author Affiliations

Tribology Research Institute, National Traction Power Laboratory, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, 610031, People's Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:137  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-137

Published: 25 March 2013


Although monocrystalline silicon reveals strong anisotropic properties on various crystal planes, the friction-induced nanofabrication can be successfully realized on Si(100), Si(110), and Si(111) surfaces. Under the same loading condition, the friction-induced hillock produced on Si(100) surface is the highest, while that produced on Si(111) surface is the lowest. The formation mechanism of hillocks on various silicon crystal planes can be ascribed to the structural deformation of crystal matrix during nanoscratching. The silicon crystal plane with lower elastic modulus can lead to larger pressed volume during sliding, facilitating more deformation in silicon matrix and higher hillock. Meanwhile, the structures of Si-Si bonds on various silicon crystal planes show a strong effect on the hillock formation. High density of dangling bonds can cause much instability of silicon surface during tip disturbing, which results in the formation of more amorphous silicon and high hillock during the friction process. The results will shed new light on nanofabrication of monocrystalline silicon.

Friction-induced nanofabrication; Silicon crystal plane; Atomic force microscope