Deformation mechanisms of face-centered-cubic metal nanowires with twin boundaries

A. J. Cao, Y. G. Wei, and S. X. Mao, Applied Physics Letters, 90, 151909 (2007).

This letter addresses the issue of deformation mechanisms and mechanical tensile behavior of the twinned metal nanowires using atomistic simulations. Free surfaces are always the preferential dislocation nucleation sites in the initial inelastic deformation stage, while with further plastic deformation, twin boundary interfaces will act as sources of dislocations with the assistance of the newly formed defects. The smaller the twin boundary spacing, the higher the yielding stresses of the twinned nanowires. Twin boundaries, which serve both as obstacles to dislocation motion and dislocation sources, can lead to hardening effects and contribute to the tensile ductility. This work illustrates that the mechanical properties of metal nanowires could be controlled by tailoring internal growth twin structures.

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