Comparison of size dependent strengthening mechanisms in Ag/Fe and Ag/Ni multilayers

Jin Li, Y. Chen, S. Xue, H. Wang, X. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Nanostructured metallic multilayers have attracted substantial attention as they often possess high mechanical strength. Here we report on the microstructure and mechanical strength of sputtered Ag/Fe multilayers with individual layer thicknesses (h) varying from 1 to 200 nm. Phase transformation of Fe from body-centered-cubic (bcc) to face-centered-cubic (fcc) structure occurs when h < 5 nm. Nanotwins form in fine Ag/Fe multilayers. Although modulus mismatch is similar between Ag/Fe and Ag/Ni multilayers, the peak hardnesses of Ag/Fe multilayers is much lower than that of Ag/Ni system. Comparison of mechanical strength of several Ag based multilayers reveals that this drastic difference may arise from chemical stress due to the difference in stacking fault energy of the layer constituents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge financial support by NSF-DMR-Metallic Materials and Nanostructures Program under grant no. 1304101 . YC is supported financially by NSF-CMMI 1161978 . S. Xue is supported by DoE-OBES under grant no. DE-SC0010482 . We also acknowledge the use of microscopes at the Microscopy and Imaging Center at Texas A&M University and the DoE Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies managed by Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Acta Materialia Inc.


  • Multilayer
  • Nanoindentation
  • Sputter
  • Stacking fault energy
  • Strengthening


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