Strain-related optical properties of ZnO crystals due to nanoindentation on various surface orientations

R. Juday, E. M. Silva, J. Y. Huang, P. G. Caldas, R. Prioli, Fernando Ponce

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13 Scopus citations


Nanoindentations were performed on various crystallographic orientations of single crystal ZnO using a cono-spherical diamond tip with a radius of curvature of 260 nm. The crystal orientations were the (11 2 0) a-plane, (10 1 0) m-plane, and (0001) c-plane (Zn-face). The optical properties associated with nanoindentation have been investigated by cathodoluminescence. The load-displacement curves show that the c-plane is the most resistive to deformation, followed by the m-plane, and the a-plane. A large number of non-radiative defects are created directly below the indentation, regardless of the crystal orientation. Nanoindentation on the a- and m-plane crystals activates slip along the (0001) basal planes, creating a band of non-radiative defects as well as tensile strain along the basal planes. Compressive strain is observed perpendicularly to the basal planes due to an absence of easy-glide mechanisms in these directions. The nanoindentation on the c-plane crystal results in regions under tensile strain extending away from the indentation along the six-fold a-directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number183511
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 14 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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