3 years ago

3D Imaging of a Dislocation Loop at the Onset of Plasticity in an Indented Nanocrystal

3D Imaging of a Dislocation Loop at the Onset of Plasticity in an Indented Nanocrystal
O. Thomas, S. Labat, G. Parry, M. De Boissieu, O. Kovalenko, Z. Ren, M. Verdier, E. Rabkin, M. Dupraz, G. A. Chahine, T. W. Cornelius, M.-I. Richard, G. Beutier
Structural quality and stability of nanocrystals are fundamental problems that bear important consequences for the performances of small-scale devices. Indeed, at the nanoscale, their functional properties are largely influenced by elastic strain and depend critically on the presence of crystal defects. It is thus of prime importance to be able to monitor, by noninvasive means, the stability of the microstructure of nano-objects against external stimuli such as mechanical load. Here we demonstrate the potential of Bragg coherent diffraction imaging for such measurements, by imaging in 3D the evolution of the microstructure of a nanocrystal exposed to in situ mechanical loading. Not only could we observe the evolution of the internal strain field after successive loadings, but we also evidenced a transient microstructure hosting a stable dislocation loop. The latter is fully characterized from its characteristic displacement field. The mechanical behavior of this small crystal is clearly at odds with what happens in bulk materials where many dislocations interact. Moreover, this original in situ experiment opens interesting possibilities for the investigation of plastic deformation at the nanoscale.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02680

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02680

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