Size effects in single-crystal metallic micro- and nanocubes

Ramathasan Thevamaran, Siddhartha Pathak, Sadegh Yazdi, Seog Jin Jeon, Olawale Lawal, Nathan Mara, Edwin L. Thomas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We study the response of single-crystal metallic micro- and nanocubes under quasistatic compression using silver as the model material. Using a seed-growth process, we synthesized the defect-free single-crystal silver cubes of near-perfect cubic geometry with their size varying from 100 nm to 2 μm. We use a nanoindentor/scanning electron microscope system to measure the stress-strain behavior and correlate it to the deformation response seen in in-situ SEM imaging. The silver cubes plastically deform through spontaneous nucleation of dislocation-slips upon reaching their yield strength. The yield strength of silver cubes exhibits strong dependence on the sample size, where the decreasing sample size results in increasing yield strength. Our studies also reveal the effects of pre-existing dislocations on the governing deformation mechanisms: the samples containing dislocations exhibit a hardening behavior with slip events of stochastic nature in contrast to the spontaneous strain-burst seen in dislocation-free sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicro and Nanomechanics - Proceedings of the 2017 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics
EditorsLaVern Starman, Jenny Hay
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)9783319634043
StatePublished - 2018
EventAnnual Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics, 2017 - Indianapolis, United States
Duration: Jun 12 2017Jun 15 2017

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series
ISSN (Print)2191-5644
ISSN (Electronic)2191-5652


OtherAnnual Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics, 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We acknowledge the financial support from the George R. Brown School of Engineering of Rice University. 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 operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC52-06NA25396.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc.


  • Quasistatic compression
  • Silver microcubes
  • Silver nanocubes
  • Size-effects
  • Stochastic response
  • Strain burst


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