Emergence of stable interfaces under extreme plastic deformation

Irene J. Beyerlein, Jason R. Mayeur, Shijian Zheng, Nathan A. Mara, Jian Wang, Amit Misra

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125 Scopus citations


Atomically ordered bimetal interfaces typically develop in near-equilibrium epitaxial growth (bottom-up processing) of nanolayered composite films and have been considered responsible for a number of intriguing material properties. Here, we discover that interfaces of such atomic level order can also emerge ubiquitously in large-scale layered nanocomposites fabricated by extreme strain (top down) processing. This is a counterintuitive result, which we propose occurs because extreme plastic straining creates new interfaces separated by single crystal layers of nanometer thickness. On this basis, with atomic-scale modeling and crystal plasticity theory, we prove that the preferred bimetal interface arising from extreme strains corresponds to a unique stable state, which can be predicted by two controlling stability conditions. As another testament to its stability, we provide experimental evidence showing that this interface maintains its integrity in further straining (strains > 12), elevated temperatures (> 0.45 Tm of a constituent), and irradiation (light ion). These results open a new frontier in the fabrication of stable nanomaterials with severe plastic deformation techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4386-4390
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 25 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomistic simulation
  • Radiation resistance
  • Texture
  • Thermal stability


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