Controlling and testing the fracture strength of silicon on the mesoscale

Kuo Shen Chen, Arturo Ayon, S. Mark Spearing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


Strength characterizations and supporting analysis of mesoscale biaxial flexure and radiused hub flexure single-crystal silicon specimens are presented. The Weibull reference strengths of planar biaxial flexure specimens were found to lie in the range 1.2 to 4.6 GPa. The local strength at stress concentrations was obtained by testing radiused hub flexure specimens. For the case of deep reactive ion-etched specimens the strength at fillet radii was found to be significantly lower than that measured on planar specimens. This result prompted the introduction of an additional isotropic etch after the deep reactive ion etch step to recover the strength in such regions. The mechanical test results reported herein have important implications for the development of highly stressed microfabricated structures. The sensitivity of the mechanical strength to etching technique must be accounted for in the structural design cycle, particularly with regard to the selection of fabrication processes. The scatter of data measured in the mechanical tests clearly illustrated the need to use a probabilistic design approach. Weibull statistics may be the appropriate means to describe the data, although a simple two-parameter Weibull model only provides a moderately good fit to the experimental data reported in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1476-1484
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry

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