Thermal Fluctuations as a Computational Microscope for Studying Crystalline Interfaces: A Mechanistic Perspective
DK Chen and Y Kulkarni, JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, 84, 121001 (2017).
Interfaces such as grain boundaries are ubiquitous in crystalline materials and have provided a fertile area of research over decades. Their importance stems from the numerous critical phenomena associated with them, such as grain boundary sliding, migration, and interaction with other defects, that govern the mechanical properties of materials. Although these crystalline interfaces exhibit small out-of-plane fluctuations, statistical thermodynamics of membranes has been effectively used to extract relevant physical quantities such as the interface free energy, grain boundary stiffness, and interfacial mobility. In this perspective, we advance the viewpoint that thermal fluctuations of crystalline interfaces can serve as a computational microscope for gaining insights into the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of grain boundaries and present a rich source of future study.
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