Indentation response of nanoporous gold from atomistic simulations

D Farkas and J Stuckner and R Umbel and B Kuhr and MJ Demkowicz, JOURNAL OF MATERIALS RESEARCH, 33, 1382-1390 (2018).

DOI: 10.1557/jmr.2018.72

We present classical potential molecular dynamics simulations of nanoporous gold (np-Au) impacted by a spherical indenter. The atomic structure was generated using a phase field model as a template. In agreement with previous experiments, we observe densification in the region under the indenter. The hardness values obtained from our simulations exhibit a transition from an initially perfect-plastic plateau to hardening behavior in the later stages of indentation. This transition occurs when the relative density beneath the indenter exceeds similar to 0.9. Hardness values obtained from the nanoindentation simulations reach 0.6 GPa, due to the densification of the material under the indenter. Elevated dislocation densities are observed in the densified region. The mechanism of pore collapse in the densified layer under the indenter is seen to switch from uniaxial to triaxial, consistent with a change in deformation mechanism from one based on shearing of individual ligaments in np-Au to one involving dislocation- mediated plasticity around voids in a Au single crystal undergoing uniaxial compression.

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