Nanoindentation Behaviour and Microstructural Evolution of Annealed Single-Crystal Silicon
The nanoindentation behaviour and phase
transformation of annealed single-crystal silicon wafers are examined.
The silicon specimens are annealed at temperatures of 250, 350 and
450ºC, respectively, for 15 minutes and are then indented to maximum
loads of 30, 50 and 70 mN. The phase changes induced in the indented
specimens are observed using transmission electron microscopy
(TEM) and micro-Raman scattering spectroscopy (RSS). For all
annealing temperatures, an elbow feature is observed in the unloading
curve following indentation to a maximum load of 30 mN. Under
higher loads of 50 mN and 70 mN, respectively, the elbow feature is
replaced by a pop-out event. The elbow feature reveals a complete
amorphous phase transformation within the indented zone, whereas
the pop-out event indicates the formation of Si XII and Si III phases.
The experimental results show that the formation of these crystalline
silicon phases increases with an increasing annealing temperature and
indentation load. The hardness and Young’s modulus both decrease as
the annealing temperature and indentation load are increased.