Role of local order in the small-scale plasticity of model amorphous materials

C Fusco and T Albaret and A Tanguy, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 82, 066116 (2010).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.82.066116

The mechanism of plastic flow in amorphous solids involves nucleation- controlled shear transformations, triggered under stress from fertile sites. However, the origin of these sites is still a matter of debate. In this paper, we show that the connection between local plastic activity and coordination defects in amorphous systems depends on the nature of the interatomic interactions. In particular, the directionality of the bonds, as quantified by the three-body term in Stillinger-Weber-like interactions, affects not only the role of local defects, but also the size of the plastic rearrangements, and the global stress-strain behavior. We study the effect of structure changes due to different quenching rates as well. We conclude the paper by a comparison between amorphous plasticity and the Peierls-Nabarro theory of plasticity in crystals.

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