Atomistic processes during nanoindentation of amorphous silicon carbide

Szlufarska, Izabela; Kalia, Rajiv K.; Nakano, Aiichiro; Vashishta, Priya
January 2005
Applied Physics Letters;1/10/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 2, p021915
Academic Journal
Atomistic mechanisms of nanoindentation of a-SiC have been studied by molecular dynamics simulations. The load displacement curve exhibits a series of load drops, reflecting the short-range topological order similar to crystalline 3C–SiC. In contrast to 3C–SiC, the load drops are irregularly spaced and less pronounced. The damage is spatially more extended than in 3C–SiC, and it exhibits long-range oscillations consistent with the indenter size. Hardness is ∼60% lower than in 3C–SiC and is in agreement with experiment. The onset of plastic deformation occurs at depth ∼75% lower than in 3C–SiC.


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