Diffusive versus Displacive Contact Plasticity of Nanoscale Asperities: Temperature- and Velocity-Dependent Strongest Size

W Guo and Z Wang and J Li, NANO LETTERS, 15, 6582-6585 (2015).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b02306

We predict a strongest size for the contact strength when asperity radii of curvature decrease below 10 nm. The reason for such strongest size is found to be correlated with the competition between the dislocation plasticity and surface diffusional plasticity. The essential role of temperature is calculated and illustrated in a comprehensive asperity size-strength-temperature map taking into account the effect of contact velocity. Such a map should be essential for various phenomena related to nanoscale contacts such as nanowire cold welding, self-assembly of nanopartides and adhesive nanopillar arrays, as well as the electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties of macroscopic interfaces.

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