Effects of three-dimensional Cu/Nb interfaces on strengthening and shear banding in nanoscale metallic multilayers

Y. Chen, N. Li, R. G. Hoagland, X. Y. Liu, J. K. Baldwin, I. J. Beyerlein, J. Y. Cheng, N. A. Mara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Manipulation of the atomic-scale structure of two-dimensional (2D) interfaces have been shown to provide nanocomposites with enhanced strength, deformability, and radiation damage resistance. In comparison with 2D interfaces, here we investigate the mechanical response of nanocomposites containing three-dimensional (3D) Cu/Nb interfaces consisting of a chemical/structural gradient separating pure Cu and Nb layers, through which the lattice mismatch between face-centered cubic Cu and body-centered cubic Nb is accommodated over a distance of several nanometers. It is demonstrated that 3D interfaces increase the yield and flow strength by 50% and 22%, respectively, over composites containing 2D interfaces at similar layer thicknesses. After 14% compressive strain, the onset of shear banding results in co-deformation of both Cu and Nb phases within and outside of the shear band. We conclude with a discussion of the role of interface structure in shear band formation and growth in 3D Cu/Nb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-601
Number of pages9
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy , Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Award Number DE-SC0020133 . This work was performed, in part, at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action equal opportunity employer, is managed by Triad National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's NNSA, under contract 89233218CNA000001. We also acknowledge Dr. Jason Myers at Characterization Facility at U. Minnesota for his valuable discussion and assistance on EDS data collecting in a FEI Titan G2 60-300.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Acta Materialia Inc.


  • 3-dimensional interface
  • Nanocomposites
  • Shear banding


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