Optimization of strength and ductility in nanotwinned ultra-fine grained Ag: Twin density and grain orientations

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Ott, Ryan
Geng, J.
Besser, Matthew
Kramer, Matthew
Wang, Y. M.
Park, E. S.
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Lesar, Richard
King, Alexander
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering teaches the composition, microstructure, and processing of materials as well as their properties, uses, and performance. These fields of research utilize technologies in metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and electronic materials.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering was formed in 1975 from the merger of the Department of Ceramics Engineering and the Department of Metallurgical Engineering.

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Nanotwinned ultrafine grained Ag thick films with different twin densities and orientations have been synthesized by magnetron sputtering with a wide-range of deposition rates. The twin boundary (TB) spacings and orientations as well as the grain size for the different deposition conditions have been characterized by both synchrotron X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Structural characterization combined with uniaxial tensile tests of the free-standing films reveals a large increase in the yield strength for films deposited at high deposition rates without any accompanying change in the TB spacing – a behavior that is not reported in the literature. We find that films deposited at lower deposition rates exhibit more randomly oriented grains with a lower overall twin density (averaged over all the grains) than the more heavily twinned grains with strong 〈1 1 1〉 fiber texture in the films deposited at higher deposition rates. The TB spacing in the twinned grains, however, does not show any significant dependence on the deposition rate. The dependence of the strength and ductility on the twin density and orientations can be described by two different soft deformation modes: (1) untwinned grains and (2) nanowinned grains that are not oriented with 〈1 1 1〉 along the growth direction. The untwinned grains provide relatively low resistance to slip, and thus decreased strength, while the nanotwinned grains that are not oriented with 〈1 1 1〉 along the growth direction are softer than nanotwinned grains that are oriented with 〈1 1 1〉 along the growth direction. We have revealed that an ultrafine-grained (150–200 nm) structure consisting of a mixture of nanotwinned (∼8–12 nm spacing) and untwined grains yields the best combination of high strength and uniform tensile ductility.


This article is published as Ott, R. T., J. Geng, M. F. Besser, M. J. Kramer, Y. M. Wang, E. S. Park, R. LeSar, and A. H. King. "Optimization of strength and ductility in nanotwinned ultra-fine grained Ag: Twin density and grain orientations." Acta Materialia 96 (2015): 378-389. DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2015.06.030. Posted with permission.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2015