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Size-dependence of zirconia-based ceramics via deformation twinning

Zhang, H. and Gu, H. and Jetter, J. and Quandt, E. and James, R. D. and Greer, J. R. (2021) Size-dependence of zirconia-based ceramics via deformation twinning. Extreme Mechanics Letters, 42 . Art. No. 101124. ISSN 2352-4316. doi:10.1016/j.eml.2020.101124.

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Contrary to the dislocation-driven ‘smaller-is-stronger’ size-effect in nanocrystals, the size-dependence of strength in deformation twinning, another carrier of plasticity, still lacks universal understanding. Deformation twinning enables pseudoplastic strain of >5% in a shape memory ceramic (ZrHfO₄)_x (YTaO₄)_(1−x). We use diffraction methods, microstructure analysis, and in-situ nanomechanical experiments to uncover contributing factors to the competition between twinning and slip in these submicron-sized ionic crystals, revealing power-law scaling of strength with size for both mechanisms. The significant twinning size-dependence was found to follow a superimposed power-law with exponent of -1, identical to that in metals. These findings unveil the universality of the superimposed power-law size-effect for twinning in single-crystals and provide new insights on deformability of ceramics and microstructure-driven nano-plasticity.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Zhang, H.0000-0002-2871-5169
Jetter, J.0000-0003-2725-8426
Quandt, E.0000-0002-2314-5179
James, R. D.0000-0001-6019-6613
Greer, J. R.0000-0002-9675-1508
Additional Information:© 2020 Published by Elsevier. Received 17 September 2020, Revised 10 November 2020, Accepted 19 November 2020, Available online 3 December 2020. HZ and JRG gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the U.S. Department of Basic Energy Sciences under Grant DE-SC0006599. HG and RDJ acknowledge the support of a Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, USA. EQ and JJ acknowledge support by the German Research Foundation (DFG) via a Reinhart Koselleck project (Project number 313454214). The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper. Data and materials availability: All data is available in the main text or the supplementary materials.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0006599
Vannever Bush Faculty FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)313454214
Subject Keywords:Deformation twinning; Plasticity; In-situ nanomechanics; Crystallography; Shape memory ceramics
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201208-105037703
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:H. Zhang, H. Gu, J. Jetter, E. Quandt, R.D. James, J.R. Greer, Size-dependence of zirconia-based ceramics via deformation twinning, Extreme Mechanics Letters, Volume 42, 2021, 101124, ISSN 2352-4316, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106960
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:09 Dec 2020 15:11
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:58

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