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Elastically strained nanowires and atomic sheets

  • Dapeng Yu (a1), Ji Feng (a2) and James Hone (a3)


Deformation is one of the most fundamental aspects of materials. While mechanical failure is an outcome of deformation to be avoided, elastic deformation can have a pronounced and positive impact on materials properties. The effect of elastic deformation becomes even more evident at low dimensions, because at the micro/nanoscale, materials and structures can usually sustain exceptionally high elastic strains before failure. The purpose of this overview is to present a summary of recent progress on elastically strained nanowires and atomic sheets. First, we will demonstrate that nanowires can sustain large elastic strains, and their bending modulus increases exponentially as the nanowire diameter decreases. Second, the elastic strain has been found to significantly modify the electronic structure of semiconductor nano/microwires to induce a metal–insulator transition at room temperature and to efficiently transform the mechanical energy into electricity. These recent developments point to potential future applications based on the elastic strain engineering of nanoscale materials.



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MRS Bulletin
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  • EISSN: 1938-1425
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