Temperature dependent fracture initiation in microscale silicon

Eric D. Hintsala, Sanjit Bhowmick, Xie Yueyue, Roberto Ballarini, S. A Syed Asif, William W. Gerberich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We present novel in-situ scanning electron microscope experiments exploring the fracture of silicon as a function of temperature at the microscale, from room temperature to 600 °C. Clear post mortem TEM observations of dislocation activity at and above 450 °C suggest that back stresses from crack-tip dislocation emission raise the applied stress intensity at initiation, as part of a brittle to ductile transition starting at 300 °C. This is in agreement with other microscale measurements; however, these experiments are particularly noteworthy in their ability to directly observe crack advance and perform post-mortem analysis to investigate dislocation activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-82
Number of pages5
JournalScripta Materialia
StatePublished - Mar 15 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Acta Materialia Inc.


  • Brittle-to-ductile transition
  • Electron microscopy
  • Fracture
  • Nanomechanical testing
  • Silicon

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