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Phys Rev Lett. 2019 May 3;122(17):178001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.178001.

Universality Class of Nanocrystal Plasticity: Localization and Self-Organization in Discrete Dislocation Dynamics.

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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, USA.
Department of Materials Science Engineering, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.
Department of Physics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, USA.


The universality class of the avalanche behavior in plastically deforming crystalline and amorphous systems has been commonly discussed, despite the fact that the microscopic defect character in each of these systems is different. In contrast to amorphous systems, crystalline flow stress increases dramatically at high strains and/or loading rates. We perform simulations of a two-dimensional discrete dislocation dynamics model that minimally captures the phenomenology of nanocrystalline deformation. In the context of this model, we demonstrate that a classic rate dependence of dislocation plasticity at large rates (>10^{3}/s) fundamentally controls the system's statistical character as it competes with dislocation nucleation: At large rates, the behavior is statistically dominated by long-range correlations of "dragged" mobile dislocations. At small rates, plasticity localization dominates in small volumes and a spatial integration of avalanche behavior takes place.

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