In order to understand the contribution of each of these deformation modes to the overall NW deformation and to extract the Young's modulus of the LiFePO4 NWs, we have performed finite element simulations using Ansys software. In previous reports involving nano-indentation measurements with NWs, different computational methods have been employed to extract the modulus of elasticity and material hardness. These include the Oliver–Pharr method [9,13] and finite element modeling [8,16,25]. Of these techniques, the Oliver–Pharr method assumes a flat sample surface and overestimates the tip-surface contact area and the NW Young's modulus due to the rounded surface of NWs [8,14]. Hence, we have employed a finite element model in Ansys software to compute the Young's modulus of NWs. The NW was meshed using the SOLID285 element, which is a 3D, four-node tetrahedral element and the AFM tip force was exerted as a point load on the top surface of the NW (shown schematically in Fig. 4(b)). This assumption is justified by the use of sharp AFM tips, with a tip radius specification of 10 nm, which is much smaller as compared to the diameter of the NWs (>300 nm). In this finite element model, the deformation of the AFM tip at the point of contact was assumed to be negligible and the NW was assumed to be isotropic in its material properties. The side view of the deformed profile of the NW, as estimated by the finite element model, is shown in Fig. 4(b). This contour plot clearly shows the bending of the NW in the suspended region. Also, the 3D-view of the NW (Fig. 4(c)) clearly indicates the localized deformation induced on the surface of the NW at the point of contact with the AFM tip. This combined mode of bending and nano-indentation induced surface deformation in large diameter NWs, which are employed in our effort, is thus verified by our finite element models.