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Nanoindentation-induced phase transformation in relaxed and unrelaxed ion-implanted amorphous germanium

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5 Author(s)
Oliver, D.J. ; Department of Physics, McGill University, Montréal, Québec H3A 2T8, Canada ; Bradby, J.E. ; Ruffell, S. ; Williams, J.S.
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We have investigated nanoindentation-induced plastic deformation in amorphous germanium (a-Ge) prepared by high-energy self-ion implantation. Using cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy, micro-Raman spectroscopy, and force-displacement curve analysis, we find strong evidence for a pressure-induced metallic phase transformation during indentation. Crystalline diamond-cubic Ge-I is observed in residual indents. Relaxed and unrelaxed structural states of a-Ge exhibit similar behavior on loading, but transform at different pressures on unloading. Both forms are markedly softer mechanically than crystalline Ge. These results assist in furthering the understanding of the intriguing phenomenon known as “explosive crystallization.”

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:106 ,  Issue: 9 )