In situ tem study of mechanical behaviour of twinned nanoparticles

Gilberto Casillas, Juanpedro Palomares-Báez, Joséluis Rodríguez-López, Junhang Luo, Arturo Ponce, Rodrigo Esparza, J. Jesúsvelázquez-Salazar, Abel Hurtado-Macias, Jesús González-Hernández, Miguel José-Yacaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


There is strong interest in studying changes in mechanical properties with reducing grain size. The rational is that consequent dislocation glide cannot be sustained, resulting in an increase in material strength. However, this comes with the cost of a reduction in ductility. It has been shown that coherent twin boundaries in nanostructured Cu improve the ductility to 14% [Lu et al., Science 324 (2009) p. 349]. In this paper, we report for the first time the compression of individual nanoparticles using an in situ force probing holder in the transmission electron microscope. Four types of nanoparticles were tested, three with twin boundaries (decahedra, icosahedra and a single twin) and one free of defects (octahedral). Our results indicate the yield strength of the twinned nanoparticles is between 0.5 and 2.0 GPa. The total malleability for the twinned particles range from 80 to 100%. In addition, experimental results were reproduced by MD simulations of the compression phenomena and suggest that the outstanding mechanical properties are related with partial dislocation multiplication at twin boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4437-4453
Number of pages17
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Issue number35
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • High malleability
  • In situ TEM mechanical testing
  • Multiple-twinned nanoparticles
  • Nanoparticles
  • Plastic deformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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