Rebuilding the Strain Hardening at a Large Strain in Twinned Au Nanowires

JP Sun and J Han and ZQ Yang and H Liu and D Song and AB Ma and L Fang, NANOMATERIALS, 8, 848 (2018).

DOI: 10.3390/nano8100848

Metallic nanowires usually exhibit ultrahigh strength but low tensile ductility, owing to their limited strain hardening capability. Here, our larger scale molecular dynamics simulations demonstrated that we could rebuild the highly desirable strain hardening behavior at a large strain (0.21 to 0.31) in twinned Au nanowires by changing twin orientation, which strongly contrasts with the strain hardening at the incipient plastic deformation in low stacking-fault energy metals nanowires. Because of this strain hardening, an improved ductility is achieved. With the change of twin orientation, a competing effect between partial dislocation propagation and twin migration is observed in nanowires with slant twin boundaries. When twin migration gains the upper hand, the strain hardening occurs. Otherwise, the strain softening occurs. As the twin orientation increases from 0 degrees to 90 degrees, the dominating deformation mechanism shifts from slip-twin boundary interaction to dislocation slip, twin migration, and slip transmission in sequence. Our work could not only deepen our understanding of the mechanical behavior and deformation mechanism of twinned Au nanowires, but also provide new insights into enhancing the strength and ductility of nanowires by engineering the nanoscale twins.

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