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

27 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

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Ariel Leonard for her assistance with the high temperature fracture testing and Dr. Douglas D. Stauffer for his advice from Hysitron, Inc. Partial support came from the NSF MRSEC Program at the University of Minnesota, Award DMR-1420013 . Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Acta Materialia Inc.


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

MRSEC Support

  • Shared


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