Size-Dependent Deformation of Nanocrystalline Pt Nanopillars

XW Gu and CN Loynachan and ZX Wu and YW Zhang and DJ Srolovitz and JR Greer, NANO LETTERS, 12, 6385-6392 (2012).

DOI: 10.1021/nl3036993

We report the synthesis, mechanical properties, and deformation mechanisms of polycrystalline, platinum nanocylinders of grain size d = 12 nm. The number of grains across the diameter, Did, was varied from S to 80 and 1.5 to 5 in the experiments and molecular dynamics simulations, respectively. An abrupt weakening is observed at a small D/d, while the strengths of large nanopillars are similar to bulk. This "smaller is weaker" trend is opposite to the "smaller is stronger" size effect in single crystalline nanostructures. The simulations demonstrate that the size-dependent behavior is associated with the distinct deformation mechanisms operative in interior versus surface grains.

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