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silicon nanoparticles; phase transformation; deformation twinning

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Metastable phase transformation and deformation twinning induced hardening-stiffening mechanism in compression of silicon nanoparticles

The compressive mechanical responses of silicon nanoparticles with respect to crystallographic orientations are investigated by atomistic simulations. Superelastic and abrupt hardening-stiffening behaviors are revealed in [110]-, [111]- and [112]-oriented nanoparticles. The obtained hardness values of these particles are in good agreement with the experimental results. In particular, [111]-oriented particle is extremely hard since its hardness (∼33.7 GPa) is almost three times greater than that of the bulk silicon (∼12 GPa).

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