Orientation-dependent extreme shear strain in single-crystalline silicon – from elasticity to fracture

C. M. Lauener; F. Schwarz; L. Pethö; J. M. Wheeler; J. Michler; R. Spolenak

Materials & Design 235 (2023) 112423-112423

Measuring strain accurately at small length scales poses a significant challenge, making it difficult to obtain precise elastic properties of small materials. This becomes particularly pronounced for test geometries beyond micro-pillars and for materials with high elastic limits and high Peierls stresses. This study investigates the elastic strain limits and strain distribution in micro double shear tests conducted on single-crystalline silicon with different crystallographic orientations. In situ scanning electron microscopy images were used to obtain full-field strain maps using digital image correlation. This local strain analysis approach revealed that the shear zones of the test geometry are not solely under pure shear conditions, but also experience superimposed bending. The local strain analysis approach increases the precision of measured elastic properties to ±15% of the literature value compared to deviations of 75-80% using the traditional global strain analysis approach. This study highlights the limitations of the global strain analysis approach in complex specimen geometries and demonstrates the effectiveness of digital image correlation in accurately determining elastic strain at the small length scale. Furthermore, both the low defect density in the samples as well as the small length scales allow for the exploration of orientation dependent strength levels close to the theoretical limit.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matdes.2023.112423