Materials, Vol. 12, Pages 1192: Mechanical Behavior of Undoped n-Type GaAs under the Indentation of Berkovich and Flat-Tip Indenters

Research paper by Lixia Xu, Lingqi Kong, Hongwei Zhao, Shunbo Wang, Sihan Liu, Long Qian

Indexed on: 12 Apr '19Published on: 11 Apr '19Published in: Materials


In this research, the mechanical behavior of undoped n-type GaAs was investigated by nanoindentation experiments using two types of indenters—Berkovich and flat-tip—with force applied up to 1000 mN. From the measured force-depth curves, an obvious pop-in phenomenon occurred at force of 150 mN with the flat-tip indenter representing elastic–plastic transition. The Young’s modulus and hardness of GaAs were calculated to be 60–115 GPa and 6–10 GPa, respectively, under Berkovich indenter. Based on the observation of indent imprints, the fracture characteristics of GaAs were also discussed. A recovery of crack by the next indentation was observed at 1000 mN with Berkovich indenter. In the case of flat-tip indentation, however, surface material sank into a wing shape from 400 mN. In this sinking region, a density of fork-shaped sinking, slip lines, and crossed pits contributed to the slip bands, and converging crossed twinning deformations inside the GaAs material were generated. Since cracks and destructions on GaAs surface took place more easily under the flat-tip indentation than that of Berkovich, a machining tool with a sharp tip is recommended for the mechanical machining of brittle materials like GaAs.