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Deformation Mechanisms in Thin Films

  • H. J. Frost (a1)

Abstract

There are a variety of different mechanisms which may contribute to the plastic deformation of a polycrystalline material, involving such processes as dislocation glide, dislocation climb, grain boundary sliding and diffusion of vacancies. Each mechanism can be characterized by a relationship which gives strain-rate as a function of stress, temperature and microstructural state. A deformation mechanism may actually involve multiple, coupled atomic processes. For example, diffusional creep results from the coupled operation of vacancy diffusion and grain boundary sliding. The total strain-rate of the polycrystal is the sum of the contributions of the various different mechanisms, with different mechanisms dominant in different regimes of stress and temperature. In bulk polycrystals this behavior has been described with deformation-mechanism maps. For thin films the same atomic processes of deformation can operate, but the deformation mechanisms may have different stress---strain-rate---temperature relationships because of the presense of free surfaces or thin-film---substrate interfaces.

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