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In this study, the deformation mechanisms of bent Si nanowires are investigated at the atomic scale with bending strain up to 12.8%. The sign and magnitude of the applied strain are found to govern their deformation mechanisms, in which the dislocation types (full or partial dislocations) can be affected by the sign (tensile or compressive) and magnitude of the applied strain. In the early stages of bending, plastic deformation is controlled by 60° full dislocations. As the bending increases, Lomer dislocations can be frequently observed. When the strain increases to a significant level, 90° partial dislocations induced from the tensile surfaces of the bent nanowires are observed. This study provides a deeper understanding of the effect of the sign and magnitude of the bending strain on the deformation mechanisms in bent Si nanowires.


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