Modeling material interfaces with hybrid adhesion method

NT Brown and JM Qu and E Martinez, COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS SCIENCE, 130, 204-213 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.commatsci.2017.01.010

A molecular dynamics simulation approach is presented to approximate layered material structures using discrete interatomic potentials through classical mechanics and the underlying principles of quantum mechanics. This method isolates the energetic contributions of the system into two pure material layers and an interfacial region used to simulate the adhesive properties of the diffused interface. The strength relationship of the adhesion contribution is calculated through small- scale separation calculations and applied to the molecular surfaces through an inter-layer bond criterion. By segregating the contributions into three regions and accounting for the interfacial excess energies through the adhesive surface bonds, it is possible to model each material with an independent potential while maintaining an acceptable level of accuracy in the calculation of mechanical properties. This method is intended for the atomistic study of the delamination mechanics, typically observed in thin-film applications. Therefore, the work presented in this paper focuses on mechanical tensile behaviors, with observations in the elastic modulus and the delamination failure mode. To introduce the hybrid adhesion method, we apply the approach to an ideal bulk copper sample, where an interface is created by disassociating the force potential in the middle of the structure. Various mechanical behaviors are compared to a standard EAM control model to demonstrate the adequacy of this approach in a simple setting. In addition, we demonstrate the robustness of this approach by applying it on (1) a Cu-Cu2O interface with interactions between two atom types, and (2) an Al-Cu interface with two dissimilar FCC lattices. These additional examples are verified against EAM and COMB control models to demonstrate the accurate simulation of failure through delamination, and the formation and propagation of dislocations under loads. The results conclude that by modeling the energy contributions of an interface using hybrid adhesion bonds, we can provide an accurate approximation method for studies of large-scale mechanical properties, as well as the representation of various delamination phenomena at the atomic scale. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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