Surface flaws control strain localization in the deformation of Cu|Au nanolaminate pillars

A Gola and GP Zhang and L Pastewka and R Schwaiger, MRS COMMUNICATIONS, 9, 1067-1071 (2019).

DOI: 10.1557/mrc.2019.93

The authors carried out matched experiments and molecular dynamics simulations of the compression of nanopillars prepared from Cu vertical bar Au nanolaminates with up to 25 nm layer thickness. The stress-strain behaviors obtained from both techniques are in excellent agreement. Variation in the layer thickness reveals an increase in the strength with a decreasing layer thickness. Pillars fail through the formation of shear bands whose nucleation they trace back to the existence of surface flaws. This combined approach demonstrates the crucial role of contact geometry in controlling the deformation mode and suggests that modulus- matched nanolaminates should be able to suppress strain localization while maintaining controllable strength.

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