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Nano Lett. 2012 Feb 8;12(2):887-92. doi: 10.1021/nl203937t. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

The nanostructured origin of deformation twinning.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


We have revealed the fundamental embryonic structure of deformation twins using in situ mechanical testing of magnesium single crystals in a transmission electron microscope. This structure consists of an array of twin-related laths on the scale of several nanometers. A computational model demonstrates that this structure should be a generic feature at the incipient stage of deformation twinning when there are correlated nucleation events. Our results shed light on the origin of twinning-induced plasticity and transformation toughening, critical to the development of advanced structural alloys with high strength, ductility, and toughness.

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