Evidence for Bulk Ripplocations in Layered Solids

J Gruber and AC Lang and J Griggs and ML Taheri and GJ Tucker and MW Barsoum, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 6, 33451 (2016).

DOI: 10.1038/srep33451

Plastically anisotropic/layered solids are ubiquitous in nature and understanding how they deform is crucial in geology, nuclear engineering, microelectronics, among other fields. Recently, a new defect termed a ripplocation-best described as an atomic scale ripple- was proposed to explain deformation in two-dimensional solids. Herein, we leverage atomistic simulations of graphite to extend the ripplocation idea to bulk layered solids, and confirm that it is essentially a buckling phenomenon. In contrast to dislocations, bulk ripplocations have no Burgers vector and no polarity. In graphite, ripplocations are attracted to other ripplocations, both within the same, and on adjacent layers, the latter resulting in kink boundaries. Furthermore, we present transmission electron microscopy evidence consistent with the existence of bulk ripplocations in Ti3SiC2. Ripplocations are a topological imperative, as they allow atomic layers to glide relative to each other without breaking the in-plane bonds. A more complete understanding of their mechanics and behavior is critically important, and could profoundly influence our current understanding of how graphite, layered silicates, the MAX phases, and many other plastically anisotropic/layered solids, deform and accommodate strain.

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