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High pressure synchrotron x-ray diffraction studies have been conducted to explore the structural stability, phase transformation, and resulting mechanisms of CdSe nanobelts. 25-nm-thick wurtzite CdSe nanobelts transform to a rocksalt structure with in situ fracture at 4.0 GPa; this is greater than the transition pressure of 2.5 GPa in bulk and 25 nm nanoparticle. Decompression results in the formation of wurtzite and sphalerite at 1.2 GPa. Total Gibbs free energy calculations demonstrate thatdoi:10.1063/1.2713172 fatcat:yahofhdyqvezblz656au2kqlom