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Transition from a strong-yet-brittle to a stronger-and-ductile state by size reduction of metallic glasses.

Authors
  • Jang, Dongchan
  • Greer, Julia R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nature materials
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2010
Volume
9
Issue
3
Pages
215–219
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/nmat2622
PMID: 20139966
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Amorphous metallic alloys, or metallic glasses, are lucrative engineering materials owing to their superior mechanical properties such as high strength and large elastic strain. However, their main drawback is their propensity for highly catastrophic failure through rapid shear banding, significantly undercutting their structural applications. Here, we show that when reduced to 100 nm, Zr-based metallic glass nanopillars attain ceramic-like strengths (2.25 GPa) and metal-like ductility (25%) simultaneously. We report separate and distinct critical sizes for maximum strength and for the brittle-to-ductile transition, thereby demonstrating that strength and ability to carry plasticity are decoupled at the nanoscale. A phenomenological model for size dependence and brittle-to-homogeneous deformation is provided.

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