The elastic-plastic transition in nanoparticle collisions

EN Millan and DR Tramontina and HM Urbassek and EM Bringa, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 18, 3423-3429 (2016).

DOI: 10.1039/c5cp05150a

When nanoparticles (NPs) collide with low velocities, they interact elastically in the sense that - besides their fusion caused by their mutual van-der-Waals attraction - no defects are generated. We investigate the minimum velocity, v(c), necessary for generating defects and inducing plasticity in the NP. The determination of this elastic- plastic threshold is of prime importance for modeling the behavior of granular matter. Using the generic Lennard-Jones interaction potential, we find v(c) to increase strongly with decreasing radius. Current models do not agree with our simulations, but we provide a model based on dislocation emission in the contact zone that quantitatively describes the size dependence of the elastic-plastic transition.

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