Nanoindentations were performed on a cubic semiconductor using a cono-spherical diamond tip with a 260 nm radius. The tip produces a single point of contact with the crystal surface allowing indentations with nano-scale dimensions. The early stages of deformation on (100) InP with the zinc-blende structure were observed to happen by the sequential introduction of metastable dislocation loops along the various slip planes directly beneath the point of contact. Locking of the dislocations loops forms a hardened region that acts as an extended tip during subsequent indentation, eventually leading to multiple bulk-like displacements (pop-in events) and to material pile up in the vicinity of the indentation pit. The first pop-in marks the transition of deformation from the nanometer to the micrometer scale.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)