Mechanical Deformation of Nanoscale Metal Rods: When Size and Shape Matter
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Face centered cubic metals deform mainly by propagating partial dislocations generating planar fault ribbons. How do metals deform if the size is smaller than the fault ribbons? We studied the elongation of Au and Pt nanorods by in situ electron microscopy and ab initio calculations. Planar fault activation barriers are so low that, for each temperature, a minimal rod size is required to become active for releasing elastic energy. Surface effects dominate deformation energetics; system size and shape determine the preferred fault gliding directions which induce different tensile and compressive behavior.
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