An atomic scale characterization of coupled grain boundary motion in silicon bicrystals

S Bringuier and VR Manga and K Runge and P Deymier and K Muralidharan, PHILOSOPHICAL MAGAZINE, 95, 4118-4129 (2015).

DOI: 10.1080/14786435.2015.1115904

The mechanical response of symmetric tilt grain boundaries (GBs) in silicon bicrystals under shear loading are characterized using molecular dynamics simulations. It is seen that under shear, high-angle GBs namely sigma 5 and sigma 13 having a rotation axis 0 0 1 demonstrate coupled GB motion, such that the displacement of grains parallel to the GB interface is accompanied by normal GB motion. An atomic-scale characterization revealed that concerted rotations of silicon tetrahedra within the GB are the primary mechanisms leading to the coupled GB motion. Interestingly, so far, this phenomenon has only been examined in detail for metallic systems. A distinguishing feature of the coupled GB motion observed for the silicon symmetric tilt bicrystals as compared to metallic bicrystals is the fact that in the absence of shear, spontaneous coupled motion is not observed at high temperatures.

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