Mechanical properties of ZnS nanobelts were measured at room temperature by direct nanoindentation experiments. It was found that the ZnS nanobelts achieve 79% increase in hardness but 52% decrease in elastic modulus compared to bulk ZnS. The nanobelts were found to exhibit creep under indentation. Indentation cracking was preferred along the belt growth direction. Indentation deformation behavior and fracture mechanisms of the ZnS nanobelts are discussed in conjunction with their crystalline structure, size effect, and surface-to-volume ratio.
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