Atomic size effect in impurity induced grain boundary embrittlement

W. T. Geng*, A. J. Freeman, G. B. Olson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Bismuth segregated to the grain boundary in Cu is known to promote brittle fracture of this material. Schweinfest et al. [Nature 432 (2004) 1008-1011] reported first-principles quantum mechanical calculations on the electronic and structural properties of a Cu grain boundary with and without segregated Bi and argue that the grain boundary weakening induced by Bi is a simple atomic size effect. But their conclusion is incomplete for both Bi and Pb because it fails to distinguish the chemical and mechanical (atomic size) contributions, as obtained with our recently developed first-principles based phenomenological theory. [Phys. Rev. B 63 (2001) 165415.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2113-2114
Number of pages2
JournalMaterials Transactions
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Atomic size
  • Grain boundary embrittlement
  • Impurity effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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