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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 May 9;100(18):185503. Epub 2008 May 6.

Dislocation-source shutdown and the plastic behavior of single-crystal micropillars.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208-3111, USA.


Dislocation dynamics simulations have been used to study the stress-strain response of single-crystal micropillars containing initial dislocation networks generated via a relaxation procedure intended to approximate real thermal annealing processes. We find that, when such networks are loaded, they exhibit periods of plastic deformation, caused by the operation of single junction-stabilized spiral sources, followed by intervals of purely elastic straining when the sources shut down. The results provide insight into the mechanisms responsible for the experimentally observed staircase stress-strain behavior.

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