Exploring the Limit of Dislocation Based Plasticity in Nanostructured Metals

D. A. Hughes, Niels Hansen

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    A twofold decrease to an unexplored scale of 5 nm was produced in Cu by applying a large sliding load in liquid nitrogen. Statistical and universal scaling analyses of deformation induced high angle boundaries, dislocation boundaries, and individual dislocations observed by high resolution electron microscopy reveal that dislocation processes still dominate. Dislocation based plasticity continues far below the transition suggested by experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, with a limit below 5 nm. Very high strength metals may emerge based on this enhanced structural refinement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number135504
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number13
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • High resolution electron microscopy
    • Molecular dynamics
    • Structural metals
    • Dislocation boundaries
    • High angle boundaries
    • High strength
    • Large sliding
    • Molecular dynamics simulations
    • Nanostructured metals
    • Structural refinement
    • Universal scaling
    • Plasticity


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