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Nanocomposite properties are to a large extent governed by interface-associated mechanisms. Via atomic-scale modeling of bi-phase interfaces, we reveal a strong correlation between interface structure and the nucleation of dislocations. We show that the number and types of dislocations that are emitted depend sensitively on a few key structural features of the interface. Based on these insights, a model is developed that connects nucleation propensity with interface structure. This finding implies that tuning interface structure is a conceivable approach for strengthening nanocomposites, one that is distinct from the common strategy of shrinking nanostructure dimensions.


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