Compressive elastic behavior of single-crystalline 4H-silicon carbide (SiC) nanopillars

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationScience China Technological Sciences
Online published24 Aug 2020
Publication statusOnline published - 24 Aug 2020


As a wide-bandgap semiconductor, 4H-SiC is an ideal material for high-power and high-frequency devices, and plays an increasingly important role in developing our country’s future electric vehicles and 5G techniques. Practical applications of SiC-based devices largely depend on their mechanical performance and reliability at the micro- and nanoscales. In this paper, single-crystal [0001]-oriented 4H-SiC nanopillars with the diameter ranging from ~200 to 700nm were microfabricated and then characterized by in situ nanomechanical testing under SEM/TEM at room temperature. Loading-unloading compression tests were performed, and large, fully reversible elastic strain up to ~6.2% was found in nanosized pillars. Brittle fracture still occurred when the max strain reached ~7%, with corresponding compressive strength above 30GPa, while in situ TEM observation showed few dislocations activated during compression along the [0001] direction. Besides robust microelectromechanical system (MEMS), flexible device and nanocomposite applications, the obtained large elasticity in [0001]-oriented 4H-SiC nanopillars can offer a fertile opportunity to modulate their electron mobility and bandgap structure by nanomechanical straining, the so called “elastic strain engineering”, for novel electronic and optoelectronic applications.

Research Area(s)

  • silicon carbide, elastic deformation, compressive behavior, in situ SEM/TEM, elastic strain engineering