Nanoscale metallic multilayers, comprising two sets of materials - Cu/Nb and Cu/Ni - were deposited in two different layer thicknesses - nominally 20 and 5 nm. These multilayer samples were indented, and the microstructural changes under the indent tips were studied by extracting samples from underneath the indents using the focused ion beam (FIB) technique and by examining them under a transmission electron microscope (TEM). The deformation behavior underneath the indents, manifested in the bending of layers, reduction in layer thickness, shear band formation, dislocation crossing of interfaces, and orientation change of grains, has been characterized and interpreted in terms of the known deformation mechanisms of nanoscale multilayers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research is sponsored by the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. We acknowledge the fruitful discussions with J.P. Hirth. We acknowledge J.K. Baldwin for technical assistance in the deposition of multilayered thin films. We also acknowledge the use of equipment and facilities at CINT.