Disconnection-Mediated Transition in Segregation Structures at Twin Boundaries
CZ Hu and DL Medlin and R Dingreville, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS, 12, 6875-6882 (2021).
Twin boundaries play an important role in the thermodynamics, stability, and mechanical properties of nanocrystalline metals. Understanding their structure and chemistry at the atomic scale is key to guide strategies for fabricating nanocrystalline materials with improved properties. We report an unusual segregation phenomenon at gold-doped platinum twin boundaries, which is arbitrated by the presence of disconnections, a type of interfacial line defect. By using atomistic simulations, we show that disconnections containing a stacking fault can induce an unexpected transition in the interfacial-segregation structure at the atomic scale, from a bilayer, alternating-segregation structure to a trilayer, segregation-only structure. This behavior is found for faulted disconnections of varying step heights and dislocation characters. Supported by a structural analysis and the classical Langmuir-McLean segregation model, we reveal that this phenomenon is driven by a structurally induced drop of the local pressure across the faulted disconnection accompanied by an increase in the segregation volume.
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