Atomic force microscope (AFM) machining has the potential to become an essential technology for manufacturing micro/nano-scale devices. In literature, this technique has been successfully employed to machine various types of materials, including semiconductor materials and metals. However, the effect of material anisotropy in terms of crystal direction is rarely considered in the existing studies. In this paper, we conduct nano-scratching experiments on the (1 0 0) plane of single crystal silicon surface with a diamond tip in an AFM machine. Three levels of crystal direction of nano-scratching are considered. Four levels of normal loading are applied. Machining performances are mainly evaluated by the groove morphology. Also, the wear coefficients and scratch ratio are calculated to the anti-wear performance. Based on the pile up volume and cutting volume respectively, the presence of the ploughing and cutting mechanisms is determined. The experiment results indicate that the applied normal load significantly affect the groove depth and debris morphology. The scratching direction has a pronounced effect on the friction coefficient and the calculated scratching hardness. By observing the debris morphology and cracks formation, the dependence of ductile to brittle transformation mechanism of silicon machining on the crystal direction is also discussed.

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