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Deformation mechanisms in nanotwinned metal nanopillars

Jang, Dongchan and Liao, Xiaoyan and Gao, Huajian and Greer, Julia R. (2012) Deformation mechanisms in nanotwinned metal nanopillars. Nature Nanotechnology, 7 (9). pp. 594-601. ISSN 1748-3387. doi:10.1038/NNANO.2012.116.

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Nanotwinned metals are attractive in many applications because they simultaneously demonstrate high strength and high ductility, characteristics that are usually thought to be mutually exclusive. However, most nanotwinned metals are produced in polycrystalline forms and therefore contain randomly oriented twin and grain boundaries making it difficult to determine the origins of their useful mechanical properties. Here, we report the fabrication of arrays of vertically aligned copper nanopillars that contain a very high density of periodic twin boundaries and no grain boundaries or other microstructural features. We use tension experiments, transmission electron microscopy and atomistic simulations to investigate the influence of diameter, twin-boundary spacing and twin-boundary orientation on the mechanical responses of individual nanopillars. We observe a brittle-to-ductile transition in samples with orthogonally oriented twin boundaries as the twin-boundary spacing decreases below a critical value (~3–4 nm for copper). We also find that nanopillars with slanted twin boundaries deform via shear offsets and significant detwinning. The ability to decouple nanotwins from other microstructural features should lead to an improved understanding of the mechanical properties of nanotwinned metals.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Jang, Dongchan0000-0002-2814-9734
Gao, Huajian0000-0002-8656-846X
Greer, Julia R.0000-0002-9675-1508
Additional Information:© 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 19 March 2012; Accepted 07 June 2012; Published online 15 July 2012. D.J. and J.R.G. acknowledge financial support from the NSF CAREER Grant (DMR-0748267) and the Office of Naval Research (N00014-09-1-0883). X.L. and H.G. also acknowledge financial support from the NSF-sponsored MRSEC Center at Brown University (DMR-0520651) and grant no. CMMI-0758535. The authors acknowledge critical support and infrastructure provided by the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech. The simulations were performed on the NICS Kraken Cray XT5 system (MS090046). Author contributions: D.J. conducted experiments, including synthesis and in situ testing of samples. X.L. performed atomistic simulations. J.R.G. and H.G. conceived the research and provided guidance. All authors analysed the data, discussed the results and wrote the manuscript.
Group:Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-09-1-0883
Kavli Nanoscience InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120716-152217289
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:32487
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Jul 2012 22:34
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 21:27

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