Influence of string-like cooperative atomic motion on surface diffusion in the (110) interfacial region of crystalline Ni

H Zhang and Y Yang and JF Douglas, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 142, 084704 (2015).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4908136

Although we often think about crystalline materials in terms of highly organized arrays of atoms, molecules, or even colloidal particles, many of the important properties of this diverse class of materials relating to their catalytic behavior, thermodynamic stability, and mechanical properties derive from the dynamics and thermodynamics of their interfacial regions, which we find they have a dynamics more like glass- forming (GF) liquids than crystals at elevated temperatures. This is a general problem arising in any attempt to model the properties of naturally occurring crystalline materials since many aspects of the dynamics of glass-forming liquids remain mysterious. We examine the nature of this phenomenon in the "simple" case of the (110) interface of crystalline Ni, based on a standard embedded-atom model potential, and we then quantify the collective dynamics in this interfacial region using newly developed methods for characterizing the cooperative dynamics of glass-forming liquids. As in our former studies of the interfacial dynamics of grain-boundaries and the interfacial dynamics of crystalline Ni nanoparticles (NPs), we find that the interface of bulk crystalline Ni exhibits all the characteristics of glass-forming materials, even at temperatures well below the equilibrium crystal melting temperature, T-m. This perspective offers a new approach to modeling and engineering the properties of crystalline materials. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

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