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Superhard metal nanoparticles: a pathway to applications?

Eugen Rabkin 1Seok-Woo Lee 3Julia R. Geer 3Dan Mordehai 1Oleg Kovalenko 1William D. Nix 2

1. Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
2. Materials Sceince and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, United States
3. California Institute of Technology (CALTECH), Pasadena, CA 91125, United States


We demonstrate that single crystal Au and Fe micro- and nanoparticles produced by solid state dewetting technique can attain a strength level approaching the theoretical shear strength of respective metals. This is related to the perfect atomic structure of the particles, their faceted morphology and scarcity of potential sites for dislocations nucleation. High level of strength was achieved both in nanoindentation experiments with sharp pyramidal diamond tip, and in microcompression tests with flat diamond punch. The possibility of purely elastic deformation of the particles with engineering strains as high as 10 % was demonstrated. Atomistic computer simulations of the deformation process reveal the mechanisms of nanoparticles plasticity. It was also shown that irradiating the particles with Ga ions drastically reduce their strength.

            We propose employing single crystalline metal nanoparticles as a reinforcing phase in protective coatings. 


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Presentation: Invited oral at Nano and Advanced Materials Workshop and Fair, by Eugen Rabkin
See On-line Journal of Nano and Advanced Materials Workshop and Fair

Submitted: 2013-06-09 18:05
Revised:   2013-06-10 10:16