The recent publication by Dr. Jeffrey M. Wheeler and his team at ETH University demonstrated the ultrahigh elastic strain (shear strength ~4 GPa) of Si, as well as plastic deformation of Si at the micron-scale (one order of magnitude larger than samples made using focused ion beams) applying a unique lithography techniques using Direct Write Maskless Aligner MLA150 Heidelberg GmbH.
The improvement in elasticity revealed the size and stress dependent transition in dislocation behavior. In addition, micron-scale plasticity of Si allows the investigation of the intrinsic size effects and dislocation behavior in diamond-structured materials. The alteration from full to partial dislocations opens gates to fabrication of robust MEMS devices.
Reference: Achieving micron-scale plasticity and theoretical strength in Silicon, Nat. Commun., M. Chen et al., 2020.