Stages of silicon film growth and mechanical strength

3 Feb 2021

In the first stage, the silicon film exists as a rigid but wobbly columnar structure. In the second stage, the columns touch at the top, forming a vaulted structure, which is strong due to arch action. In the third stage, further deposition of silicon atoms results in a sponge-like structure. The red dashed lines show how the silicon deforms as a force is applied.

Schematic created by Dr. Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos, OIST Nanoparticles by Design Unit and Particle Technology Laboratory, ETH Zürich

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