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Job-related stress: NIST demonstrates fatigue effects in silicon
Date:11/27/2007

g point. Simply pressing down hard on the crystal for days at a time caused no detectable cracksarguing against the corrosion theory. On the other hand, using half the pressure but cycling the test hundreds of thousands of times revealed a gradually increasing pattern of surface damage at the indentation siteclear indication of mechanical fatigue. The NIST team, which included a researcher from the University of Extremadura in Spain, theorizes that the critical element in their experiments is the addition of shear stress (causing the crystal planes to slide against each other), a component missing in conventional tensile strength tests but not uncommon in real-world applications.

The NIST experiments demonstrated fatigue effects in silicon at the comparatively large scale of hundred of micrometers. The next step is to determine if the same mechanisms operate at the submicrometer level.


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Contact: Michael Baum
michael.baum@nist.gov
301-975-2763
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)  
Source:Eurekalert

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