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UU2.02 - Silicon Nanowires: From Mechanical Properties to Stretchable Electronics 
April 22, 2014   2:00pm - 2:15pm

We have characterized the mechanical properties of silicon nanowires as a function of the nanowire size. The nanowires, grown by the vapor-liquid-solid process, were subjected to tensile tests in situ inside a scanning electron microscope. The Young’s modulus decreases while the fracture strain increases, as the nanowire diameter decreases. Of particular interest is that the fracture strain is over 12% with the diameter of 15 nm or so, demonstrating outstanding mechanical resilience of the material. The nanowires are found to be linear elastic followed with brittle fracture at room temperature. The silicon nanowires have been applied in stretchable electronics. Silicon nanowire coils were fabricated on elastomeric substrates by a controlled buckling process. Two buckling modes (the in-plane wavy mode and the three-dimensional coiled mode) can be obtained. The nanowire coils exhibit very large stretchability up to the failure strain of PDMS (>100% in our study). Such a large stretchability relies on the effectiveness of the coil shape in mitigating the maximum local strain, with a mechanics that is similar to the motion of a coil spring. Single NW devices based on coiled NWs show nearly constant electrical response in a large strain range. Our work has demonstrated silicon nanowires with excellent mechanical properties, which may find important electronic, optical and other applications where mechanical deformation is anticipated.

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Keynote Address
Panel Discussion - Different Approaches to Commercializing Materials Research
Business Challenges to Starting a Materials-Based Company
Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience
Application of In-situ X-ray Absorption, Emission and Powder Diffraction Studies in Nanomaterials Research - From the Design of an In-situ Experiment to Data Analysis