Void nucleation in biaxially strained ultrathin films of face-centered cubic metals
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(Color online) Evolution of potential energy per atom, , in the metallic thin film under biaxial tensile strain level . The thin film is strained to from an unstrained state (at ) over a time period ; the initial stage of the evolution is highlighted in the inset. Until , the response of the thin film is elastic. At , the biaxial strain in the film has been relieved by plastic deformation. The red and green curves correspond to supercells with unstrained lateral dimensions of and , respectively.
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(Color online) [(a)–(d)] Top views of the surface of the strained Cu thin film with an area of under applied biaxial strain during deformation and strain relaxation. Atoms are colored according to their von Mises strain. [(e)–(h)] Cross-sectional views of the strained Cu thin film over the same period. Atoms are colored according to their local environment. Dark blue and light blue atoms are in perfect fcc and hcp lattice arrangements, respectively. Other colors represent point defects, dislocations, and surface atoms. [(i)–(l)] 3D close view of the thin-film material over the same period; atoms with , , and are not shown for clarity. Atoms colored in maroon, light blue, and light green are surface atoms with , atoms with , and atoms with 8, respectively. The corresponding total time in the MD simulation is recorded, starting from the film in its unstrained state.
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