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The tension and compression of single-crystalline silicon nanowires ͑SiNWs͒ with different cross-sectional shapes are studied systematically using molecular dynamics simulation. The shape effects on the yield stresses are characterized. For the same surface to volume ratio, the circular cross-sectional SiNWs are stronger than the square cross-sectional ones under tensile loading, but reverse happens in compressive loading. With the atoms colored by least-squares atomic local shear strain, thedoi:10.1063/1.3186619 fatcat:oqycbhqtm5gqvc57nuerxlmpge