Nanoindentation processes in full view
The microelectronics revolution is one of the most influential drivers of current industrial developments. To probe the mechanical properties of ever shrinking materials and components, nanoindentation has come to be an omnipresent and indispensable method. In a recent combined experimental and computational approach, an international team of scientists was for the first time able to resolve the dynamic atomistic processes taking place at the elastic-plastic transition during nanoindentation. Further, they could determine the rate limiting processes governing the so-called pop-in event, as well as the origins for the observed transitions in dislocation mechanisms succeeding this event based on the dynamics of so-called prismatic dislocation loops. In the future, these fundamental insights will enable modifications of established nanoindentation models in order to better describe the most common small scale mechanical characterization technique.
Full details can be found in this open access article:In-situ observation of the initiation of plasticity by nucleation of prismatic dislocation loops S. Lee et al, Nature Communications 11, 2367, published 05/12/2020 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15775-y