Colossal grain growth yields single-crystal metal foils by contact-free annealing

S Jin and M Huang and Y Kwon and LN Zhang and BW Li and S Oh and JC Dong and D Luo and M Biswal and BV Cunning and PV Bakharev and I Moon and WJ Yoo and DC Camacho-Mojica and YJ Kim and SH Lee and B Wang and WK Seong and M Saxena and F Ding and HJ Shin and RS Ruoff, SCIENCE, 362, 1021-+ (2018).

DOI: 10.1126/science.aao3373

Single-crystal metals have distinctive properties owing to the absence of grain boundaries and strong anisotropy. Commercial single-crystal metals are usually synthesized by bulk crystal growth or by deposition of thin films onto substrates, and they are expensive and small. We prepared extremely large single-crystal metal foils by "contact-free annealing" from commercial polycrystalline foils. The colossal grain growth (up to 32 square centimeters) is achieved by minimizing contact stresses, resulting in a preferred in-plane and out-of-plane crystal orientation, and is driven by surface energy minimization during the rotation of the crystal lattice followed by "consumption" of neighboring grains. Industrial-scale production of single-crystalmetal foils is possible as a result of this discovery.

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