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Role of Five-fold Twin Boundary on the Enhanced Mechanical Properties of fcc Fe Nanowires

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posted on 14.12.2011, 00:00 by J. Y. Wu, S. Nagao, J. Y. He, Z. L. Zhang
The role of 5-fold twin boundary on the structural and mechanical properties of fcc Fe nanowire under tension is explored by classical molecular dynamics. Twin-stabilized fcc nanowire with various diameters (6–24 nm) are examined by tension tests at several temperatures ranging from 0.01 to 1100 K. Significant increase in the Young’s modulus of the smaller nanowires is revealed to originate from the central area of quinquefoliolate-like stress-distribution over the 5-fold twin, rather than from the surface tension that is often considered as the main source of such size-effects found in nanostructures. Because of the excess compressive stress caused by crossing twin-boundaries, the atoms in the center behave stiffer than those in bulk and even expand laterally under axial tension, providing locally negative Poisson’s ratio. The yield strength of nanowire is also enhanced by the twin boundary that suppresses dislocation nucleation within a fcc twin-domain; therefore, the plasticity of nanowire is initiated by strain-induced fcc → bcc phase transformation that destroys the twin structure. After the yield, the nucleated bcc phase immediately spreads to the entire area, and forms a multigrain structure to realize ductile deformation followed by necking. As temperature elevated close to the critical temperature between bcc and fcc phases, the increased stability of fcc phase competes with the phase transformation under tension, and hence dislocation nucleations in fcc phase are observed exclusively at the highest temperature in our study.