The coupled effects of geometry and surface orientation on the mechanical properties of metal nanowires

CJ Ji and HS Park, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 18, 305704 (2007).

DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/18/30/305704

We have performed atomistic simulations of the tensile loading of < 100 > and < 110 > copper nanowires to investigate the coupled effects of geometry and surface orientation on their mechanical behaviour and properties. By varying the nanowire cross section from square to rectangular, nanowires with dominant surface facets are created that exhibit distinct mechanical properties due to the different inelastic deformation mechanisms that are activated. In particular, we find that non-square nanowires generally exhibit lower yield stresses and strains, lower toughness, elevated fracture strains, and a propensity to deform via twinning; we quantify the links between the observed deformation mechanisms due to non-square cross section and the resulting mechanical properties, while illustrating that geometry can be utilized to tailor the mechanical properties of nanowires.

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