Wavy and rough cracks in silicon

RD Deegan, S Chheda, L Patel, M Marder, HL Swinney, J Kim, A de Lozanne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Single-crystal silicon exhibits a strong preference to cleave along a few certain planes, but in experiments we observe wavy cracks with almost no evidence of a preferred fracture direction. Furthermore, we find that the fracture surface is an anisotropic and self-affine fractal over five decades in length scale in the direction of the crack with a roughness exponent of 0.78. In our experiments a 1-4 cm wide strip of single-crystal silicon is heated to 378degreesC and lowered into a 20degreesC water bath at speeds of 0.2-5 cm/s. The thermal gradient produces cracks that, depending on the speed, are straight, wavy with amplitude 0.1-0.5 cm and wavelength 0.3-1 cm, or multibranched. The transition from one mode of fracture to another is discontinuous and hysteretic.
Translated title of the contributionWavy and rough cracks in silicon
Original languageEnglish
Article numberArt. No. 066209 Part 2
Pages (from-to)1 - 7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume67 (6) 066209
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

Bibliographical note

Publisher: American Physical Society
Other identifier: IDS Number: 699YN


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