11.3. Physical Mechanisms of Fracture in Silicon

11.3.1. General Remarks

Solids are typically classified as brittle or ductile, according to how they respond to external loads. Silicon belongs to the class of intrinsically brittle solids. In practice, though silicon single crystal manifests a tensile yield strength (6.9 × l0l0 dyne/cm2 or l06 psi), which is three times higher than that for stainless-steel wires [165, 166], it can yield by fracturing at room temperature, while metals usually yield by deforming inelastically. In order to explain specific features of the fracture processes a number of factors, which span many different length scales, must be properly accounted for. Firstly, the fracture initiation and propagation are dictated by ...

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