Mechanism for shear banding in nanolayered composites

N. A. Mara, D. Bhattacharyya, J. P. Hirth, P. Dickerson, A. Misra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Recent studies have shown that two-phase nanocomposite materials with semicoherent interfaces exhibit enhanced strength, deformability, and radiation damage resistance. The remarkable behavior exhibited by these materials has been attributed to the atomistic structure of the bimetal interface that results in interfaces with low shear strength and hence, strong barriers for slip transmission due to dislocation core spreading along the weak interfaces. In this work, the low interfacial shear strength of Cu/Nb nanoscale multilayers dictates a new mechanism for shear banding and strain softening during micropillar compression. Our findings, supported by molecular dynamics simulations, provide insight on the design of nanocomposites with tailored interface structures and geometry to obtain a combination of high strength and deformability. High strength is derived from the ability of the interfaces to trap dislocations through relative ease of interfacial shear, while deformability can be maximized by controlling the effects of loading geometry on shear band formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021909
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 12 2010

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