Mechanism for shear banding in nanolayered composites

N. A. Mara, D. Bhattacharyya, J. P. Hirth, P. Dickerson, A. Misra

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Recent studies have shown that two-phase nanocomposite materials with semicoherent interfaces exhibit enhanced strength, deformability, and radiation damage resistance. The remarkable behavior exhibited by these materials has been attributed to the atomistic structure of the bimetal interface that results in interfaces with low shear strength and hence, strong barriers for slip transmission due to dislocation core spreading along the weak interfaces. In this work, the low interfacial shear strength of Cu/Nb nanoscale multilayers dictates a new mechanism for shear banding and strain softening during micropillar compression. Our findings, supported by molecular dynamics simulations, provide insight on the design of nanocomposites with tailored interface structures and geometry to obtain a combination of high strength and deformability. High strength is derived from the ability of the interfaces to trap dislocations through relative ease of interfacial shear, while deformability can be maximized by controlling the effects of loading geometry on shear band formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021909
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 12 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Electron Microscopy Laboratory (EML) and Robert Dickerson at LANL for TEM support. This work was funded by the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, and was performed, in part, at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, a U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences user facility. Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action equal opportunity employer, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396.


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