Several experiments indicate that there are atomic tunneling defects in plastically deformed metals. How this is possible has not been clear, given the large mass of the metal atoms. Using a classical molecular-dynamics calculation, we determine the structures, energy barriers, effective masses, and quantum tunneling rates fur dislocation kinks and jogs in copper screw dislocations. We find that jugs are unlikely to tunnel, but the kinks should have large quantum fluctuations. The kink motion involves hundreds of atoms each shifting a tiny amount, leading to a small effective mass and tunneling barrier.
Bibliographical noteCopyright (2001) American Physical Society
- INSTANTON APPROACH
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