Interaction of small mobile stacking fault tetrahedra with free surfaces, dislocations, and interfaces in Cu and Cu-Nb

E Martinez and BP Uberuaga and IJ Beyerlein, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 93, 054105 (2016).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.054105

The presence of stacking fault tetrahedra (SFTs) in face-centered-cubic metals substantially modifies the material response to external loading. These defects are extremely stable with increasing energetic stability as they grow in size. At the sizes visible within a transmission electron microscope, they appear nearly immobile. We have recently shown that these defects might indeed migrate, with defective SFTs exhibiting particularly high mobilities. In this paper, using molecular dynamics, we show how mobile SFTs interact with various types of extended defects, including free surfaces, dislocations, and interfaces in Cu and Cu-Nb systems. We observe a direct relation between the energetics of a single vacancy interacting with each external defect and the propensity for the SFT to be absorbed. Finally, using mesoscale modeling, we show how the fact that SFTs can migrate influences the system evolution and potentially important observables of interest such as the void denuded zones around defect sinks.

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