Plastic deformation of submicron-sized crystals studied by in-situ Kikuchi diffraction and dislocation imaging

Xiaodan Zhang, Andrew Godfrey, Grethe Winther, Niels Hansen, Xiaoxu Huang

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The plastic deformation of submicron-size copper single crystals in the form of pillars has been characterized during in-situ compression in the transmission electron microscope up to strains of 28–33% using a state-of-the-art holder (PI-95 PicoIndenter). The dimensions of the crystals used were approx. 500×250×200 nm3 with the compression axis oriented 1.6° from [110]. Local crystallographic orientations have been determined with high accuracy using a Kikuchi diffraction method and glide of dislocations over a pillar has also been
    observed directly by dark field imaging. The variation in the local orientation during deformation has been followed by in-situ convergent beam electron Kikuchi diffraction. The in-situ observations have been followed up by post-deformation measurements with the samples still mounted in the electron microscope. Crystal breakup following localized deformation was observed in two of three crystals examined, and for all crystals the direction of rotation during deformation is in agreement with slip taking place on a subset
    of the four slip systems, with the highest Schmid factors on the (111) and (−1–11) slip planes. A diffraction-based Burgers vector analysis confirms that the active dislocations are from slip systems with the highest Schmid factors. These results from testing of micropillars are in good agreement with the deformation behaviour previously reported for both single- and poly-crystal samples with dimensions in the millimetre range. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMaterials Characterization
    Pages (from-to)21-27
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Plastic deformation
    • Submicron-sized crystals
    • In-situ convergent beam electron
    • Kikuchi diffraction
    • Dislocation imaging
    • Crystal rotation


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