Mechanistic insights into interface-facilitated dislocation nucleation and phase transformation at semicoherent bimetal interfaces

XP Shen and BN Yao and ZR Liu and D Legut and HJ Zhang and RF Zhang, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PLASTICITY, 146, 103105 (2021).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijplas.2021.103105

The nucleation of lattice dislocations and interface sliding at bimetal interfaces are two fundamental mechanisms of plasticity that are responsible for the mechanical responses of nanostructured materials; however, the interface-facilitated phase transformation is rarely considered owing to its relatively high energy barrier for activation. Taking the bimetal hcp/bcc interfaces with Pitch-Schrader and Burgers orientation relationships (ORs) as an illustration, we show that both non-basal dislocation nucleation and hcp-to-bcc phase transformation can be activated at the interface under external loading when the basal slip systems are effectively suppressed. The nonbasal dislocation nucleation is shown to be closely related to the dynamic evolution of misfit dislocation patterns at the semicoherent interface, in which the 1/60223 pyramidal dislocation is not strictly parallel to the (0111) stacking fault plane owing to the corrugated feature. In contrast to non-basal dislocation nucleation, phase transformation requires specific crystallo-graphic ORs of the constituent metals under certain loading conditions, which corresponds to the process of alternate shuffle and shear deformation that involves atomistic migration. To further reveal the competition between non-basal dislocation nucleation and phase transformation, a series of twisted interface models were constructed to systematically investigate the optimal condition of the interface geometry for phase transformation. The phase transformation occurred only when the dislocation nucleation was further hindered at some specific twist angles, suggesting a strong dependence of phase transformation on the interface structure. These findings provide a foundation to the atomistic mechanism of various interface-mediated deformation and a solution to tune interface-facilitated plasticity via interface engineering.

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