Theoretical and numerical investigation of bending properties of Cu nanowires


DOI: 10.1016/j.commatsci.2011.12.024

Based on the AFM-bending experiments, a molecular dynamics (MD) bending simulation model is established which could accurately account for the full spectrum of the mechanical properties of NWs in a double clamped beam configuration, ranging from elasticity to plasticity and failure. It is found that, loading rate exerts significant influence to the mechanical behaviours of nanowires (NWs). Specifically, a loading rate lower than 10 m/s is found reasonable for a homogonous bending deformation. Both loading rate and potential between the tip and the NW are found to play an important role in the adhesive phenomenon. The force versus displacement (F-d) curve from MD simulation is highly consistent in shapes with that from experiments. Symmetrical F-d curves during loading and unloading processes are observed, which reveal the linear-elastic and non-elastic bending deformation of NWs. The typical bending induced tensile-compressive features are observed. Meanwhile, the simulation results are excellently fitted by the classical Euler- Bernoulli beam theory with axial effect. It is concluded that, axial tensile force becomes crucial in bending deformation when the beam size is down to nanoscale for double clamped NWs. In addition, we find shorter NWs will have an earlier yielding and a larger yielding force. Mechanical properties (Young's modulus and yield strength) obtained from both bending and tensile deformations are found comparable with each other. Specifically, the modulus is essentially similar under these two loading methods, while the yield strength during bending is observed larger than that during tension. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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