Crystallization of amorphous silicon induced by mechanical shear deformations

A Kerrache and N Mousseau and LJ Lewis, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 84, 014110 (2011).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.84.014110

We investigate the response of amorphous silicon (a-Si) to external mechanical shear deformations using classical molecular dynamics simulations and the empirical environment dependent interatomic potential Phys. Rev. B 56, 8542 (1997). In agreement with previous results, we find that, at low shear velocity and low temperature, shear deformations increase disorder and defect density. At low shear and high temperature, the deformations are found to induce crystallization, demonstrating a dynamical transition associated with both shear rate and temperature. The properties of a-Si under shear deformations and the extent at which the system crystallizes are analyzed in terms of the potential energy difference between the sheared and nonsheared material, as well as the fraction of defects and the number of particles that possess a crystalline environment.

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