The results are presented of uniaxial tensile testing of single crystalline electroplated copper nanopillars with diameters between 75 nm and 165 nm fabricated without the use of a focused ion beam (FIB). The experiments were performed in an in situ nanomechanical instrument, SEMentor, and reveal that the pillars’ ultimate tensile strengths follow a similar power law dependence on diameter as reported for microcompression studies on fcc metals fabricated with and without FIB. Further, these pillars are characterized by limited or non-existent initial homogeneous deformation, immediately followed by necking in the top portion of the pillar. The particular deformation attributes are discussed in the context of hardening by dislocation starvation. Site-specific transmission electron microscopy microstructural analysis of as-fabricated nanopillars indicates the presence of scarce twin boundaries in some specimens. We comment on the potential for mechanical effects due to the presence of twins.
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