3 years ago

Imaging the Hydrogen Absorption Dynamics of Individual Grains in Polycrystalline Palladium Thin Films in 3D

Imaging the Hydrogen Absorption Dynamics of Individual Grains in Polycrystalline Palladium Thin Films in 3D
Andrew Ulvestad, Matthew W. Kanan, Ross J. Harder, Allison Yau
Defects such as dislocations and grain boundaries often control the properties of polycrystalline materials. In nanocrystalline materials, investigating this structure–function relationship while preserving the sample remains challenging because of the short length scales and buried interfaces involved. Here we use Bragg coherent diffractive imaging to investigate the role of structural inhomogeneity on the hydriding phase transformation dynamics of individual Pd grains in polycrystalline films in three-dimensional detail. In contrast to previous reports on single- and polycrystalline nanoparticles, we observe no evidence of a hydrogen-rich surface layer and consequently no size dependence in the hydriding phase transformation pressure over a 125–325 nm size range. We do observe interesting grain boundary dynamics, including reversible rotations of grain lattices while the material remains in the hydrogen-poor phase. The mobility of the grain boundaries, combined with the lack of a hydrogen-rich surface layer, suggests that the grain boundaries are acting as fast diffusion sites for the hydrogen atoms. Such hydrogen-enhanced plasticity in the hydrogen-poor phase provides insight into the switch from the size-dependent behavior of single-crystal nanoparticles to the lower transformation pressures of polycrystalline materials and may play a role in hydrogen embrittlement.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.7b04735

DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b04735

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