In situ nanomechanical measurements of interfacial strength in membrane-embedded chemically functionalized si microwires for flexible solar cells

Clara J. Cho, Leslie O'Leary, Nathan S. Lewis, Julia R. Greer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Arrays of vertically aligned Si microwires embedded in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) have emerged as a promising candidate for use in solar energy conversion devices. Such structures are lightweight and concurrently demonstrate competitive efficiency and mechanical flexibility. To ensure reliable functioning under bending and flexing, strong interfacial adhesion between the nanowire and the matrix is needed. In situ uniaxial tensile tests of individual, chemically functionalized, Si microwires embedded in a compliant PDMS matrix reveal that chemical functionality on Si microwire surfaces is directly correlated with interfacial adhesion strength. Chemical functionalization can therefore serve as an effective methodology for accessing a wide range of interfacial adhesion between the rigid constituents and the soft polymer matrix; the adhesion can be quantified by measuring the mechanical strength of such systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3296-3301
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 13 2012



  • Si microwires
  • fiber pull-out
  • flexible solar cells mechanical properties
  • in situ tension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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