EVALUATING THE INTERFACIAL TOUGHNESS OF GAN-ON-DIAMOND USING BLISTERING METHOD WITH NANO-INDENTATION

An improved analysis of the interfacial toughness using nanoindentation induced blistering of thin films on stiff substrates is demonstrated on GaN-on-diamond. The Hutchinson-Suo analysis requires accurate measurement of blister dimensions, conventionally measured using 2-D line-scans from 3-D topographical maps. The new meteorology overcomes shortcomings of this technique by fitting the 3-D analytical solution of a clamped Kicrchoff plate to the topological map of the blister. This allowed for quantification of interfacial toughness of smaller blisters in GaN-on-diamond, previously assumed invalid for analysis due to inadequacies of the line-scan analysis. Three samples were investigated and found to have interfacial toughness ranging from 0.6–1 J m−2. Additionally, the relationship between residual stress in the GaN and interfacial toughness was investigated using photoluminescence spectroscopy. In all cases, the GaN was found to be under increased compression at the diamond interface by up to -0.81 GPa, although no correlation with interfacial toughness was observed.
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HIGH-CYCLE FATIGUE IN THE TEM: NANOCRYSTALLINE METALS [Keynote]

In-situ TEM high-cycle fatigue experiments on electron transparent thin films of nanocrystalline Pt and Cu have revealed not only microstructural-sensitive crack propagation, but also unexpected microstructural-scale crack healing. Based on the experimental observations, atomistic modeling, and continuum-scale microstructural modeling, the mechanism appears to be crack flank cold welding facilitated by local compressive microstructural stresses and/or grain boundary migration. While these observations are specific to pure nanocrystalline metal thin films under a high-vacuum environment, there are potentially much broader ramifications. The existing observations can be used to help rationalize suppressed fatigue crack propagation rates in vacuum, subsurface, or under contact-inducing mixed-mode stresses; and even the precipitous decline in propagation rates near the fatigue threshold.
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IN SITU TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY STUDY OF NANOMECHANICAL DEFORMATION AND ATOMIC-SCALE FRACTURE IN HIGH ENTROPY ALLOYS

Intergranular fracture plays an important role in polycrystalline materials including high entropy alloys, but the atomic scale fracture mechanisms of individual grain boundaries (GBs) are still not fully understood. In this work, we selectively investigate the fracture behaviors of individual GBs in a single-phase face-centered cubic CoCrFeNi high entropy alloy via in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) nanomechanical testing supported by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. With this set up, the classic mode I crack propagation along GBs can be dynamically visualized and quantitatively analyzed.
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EFFECTS OF IRRADIATION DAMAGE LEVELS ON ACTIVATION VOLUME AND DEFORMATION MECHANISMS IN IRRADIATED GOLD THIN FILMS USING IN SITU TEM STRAINING

The plastic deformation mechanisms of ultrafine-grained gold thin films (average grain size ~150 nm) irradiated with 2.8 MeV Au+ ions at three different levels (0.1, 1 and 5 dpa) have been studied using quantitative in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) nanomechanical testing. This technique allows for the simultaneous observation and comparison of the active deformation mechanisms, measurement of mechanical properties and true activation volume. Some of the observed deformation mechanisms include dislocation nucleation at grain boundaries (GB), dislocation pinning/de-pinning at irradiation induced defects, and stress-induced GB migration. During the early stages of deformation, dislocation nucleation and GB migration occur simultaneously. However, the dense populations of irradiation-induced defects prevent transgranular dislocation motion. As the deformation levels increase, GB migration leads to defect-free zones which then provide avenues for unimpeded dislocation glide. The true activation volume increases from ~10b3 in unirradiated specimens, to ~22b3 in irradiated specimens at 1dpa, for flow stresses ranging from 400 to 550 MPa. The experimentally measured activation volume values are compared with values determined from atomistic simulations (grain size ~10 nm) for different unit dislocation processes to determine the controlling deformation mechanism, using Conrad’s model that provides a Hall-Petch-type relationship of grain size dependent activation volume.
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QUANTIFICATION OF INTERFACE STRENGTH OF A THIN FILM USING A NEW MICROCANTILEVER GEOMETRY.

Interfaces failure occurs not only in structural materials but also in functional material systems including systems for energy conversion and storage. Such failures lead to degradation of mechanical and functional properties, such as battery capacity or electrical conductivity. In bulk scale, there are various experimental methods to investigate the interface strength and its failure mechanisms, for instance, peeling test, superlayer test, or indentation test. One of the disadvantages of these approaches is that it can be applied only to relatively thick coatings [1,2]. Small-scale mechanical testing is a powerful tool for studying interface properties because it can quantify micro- and nanometer-sized thin films, and individual interfaces of interest can be tested by isolating them using focused ion beam (FIB). Single and double cantilever beams have been used to investigate fracture/delamination properties of single interfaces [3,4], however, these methods are prone to experimental imperfections arising from testing geometries.
In this talk, we propose a new in situ scanning electron microscope (SEM) microcantilever design that provides reliable and quantitative interface toughness. In addition, the optimized geometry can promote a pre-notch (or crack) to propagate in a stable manner, which is important to generate a natural crack front without FIB-induced damage/artifacts.
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