Research Article

Nano Research

, Volume 4, Issue 12, pp 1261-1267

First online:

Surface dislocation nucleation mediated deformation and ultrahigh strength in sub-10-nm gold nanowires

  • Yang LuAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Rice University
  • , Jun SongAffiliated withDepartment of Mining & Materials Engineering, McGill University
  • , Jian Yu HuangAffiliated withCenter for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT), Sandia National Laboratories
  • , Jun LouAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Rice University Email author 

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The plastic deformation and the ultrahigh strength of metals at the nanoscale have been predicted to be controlled by surface dislocation nucleation. In situ quantitative tensile tests on individual 〈111〉 single crystalline ultrathin gold nanowires have been performed and significant load drops observed in stress-strain curves suggest the occurrence of such dislocation nucleation. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) imaging and molecular dynamics simulations demonstrated that plastic deformation was indeed initiated and dominated by surface dislocation nucleation, mediating ultrahigh yield and fracture strength in sub-10-nm gold nanowires.


Nanowires in situ transmission electron microscope (TEM) mechanical characterization dislocation nucleation plasticity