Plasticity in nanocrystalline and amorphous metals: Similarities at the atomic scale

Alan C. Lund*, Christopher A. Schuh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


For metallic alloys, the amorphous state is often regarded as the limiting structure as grain size is reduced towards zero. One interesting consequence of this limit is that the properties of the finest nanocrystalline metals must begin to resemble those of metallic glasses. In this work we focus upon the nature of the plastic yield mechanisms in these material classes, and seek to identify commonalities and disparities in the nature of plastic yield in glasses and nanocrystals. The discussion is presented with reference to static atomistic simulations of (i) an amorphous binary alloy, and (ii) a nanocrystalline Ni specimen with grain size of 3 nm. We show that both these materials deform by the operation of fine atomic shearing events, and both exhibit asymmetric yielding as a consequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2003
EventAmorphous and Nanocrystalline Metals - Boston, MA., United States
Duration: Dec 1 2003Dec 4 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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