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Sci Rep. 2014 May 30;4:5118. doi: 10.1038/srep05118.

Atomic-scale configurations of synchroshear-induced deformation twins in the ionic MnS crystal.

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Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wenhua Road 72, 110016 Shenyang, China.


Deformation twinning was thought as impossible in ionic compounds with rock-salt structure due to the charge effect on {111} planes. Here we report the presence and formation mechanism of deformation {111} twins in the rock-salt manganese sulphide (MnS) inclusions embedded in a hot-rolled stainless steel. Based on the atomic-scale mapping under aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy, a dislocation-based mechanism involved two synchronized shear on adjacent atomic layers is proposed to describe the dislocation glide and consequently twinning formation. First-principles calculations of the energy barriers for twinning formation in MnS and comparing with that of PbS and MgO indicate the distinct dislocation glide scheme and deformation behaviors for the rock-salt compounds with different ionicities. This study may improve our understanding of the deformation mechanisms of rock-salt crystals and other ionic compounds.

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