Plastic Deformation of Single‐Crystal Diamond Nanopillars

Journal: Advanced Materials

Published: 2020-03-01

DOI: 10.1002/adma.201906458

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 12

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Research Highlight

Diamond nanopillars deform when pushed

© PansLaos/Getty

© PansLaos/Getty

Slender nanoscale pillars of diamond permanently deform when pushed.

Diamond is renowned for its hardness. But the physical properties of materials can change dramatically at the nanoscale, and little is known about those of diamond nanostructures due to the difficulty in making them.

Now, a team that included three researchers at Curtin University in Western Australia has fabricated diamond nanopillars and used the electron beam of a scanning electron microscope to apply a force to them.

They found that the nanopillars deformed elastically, returning to their original shape after the force was removed. But the team also discovered that thin nanopillars with a specific crystal orientation underwent plastic deformation, where they become permanently deformed. They explained this plastic deformation in terms of a previously unknown phase of carbon.

These findings will help design new devices based on nanostructured materials.

Supported content

  1. Advanced Materials 32, 1906458 (2020). doi: 10.1002/adma.201906458
Institutions Share
University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia 0.58
Curtin University, Australia 0.25
The University of Sydney (USYD), Australia 0.17