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Room temperature stress relaxation in nanocrystalline Ni measured by micropillar compression and miniature tension

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2016

Gaurav Mohanty*
Affiliation:
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures, CH-3602 Thun, Switzerland
Juri Wehrs
Affiliation:
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures, CH-3602 Thun, Switzerland
Brad L. Boyce
Affiliation:
Sandia National Laboratories, Materials Science and Engineering Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185, USA
Aidan Taylor
Affiliation:
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures, CH-3602 Thun, Switzerland
Madoka Hasegawa
Affiliation:
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures, CH-3602 Thun, Switzerland
Laetitia Philippe
Affiliation:
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures, CH-3602 Thun, Switzerland
Johann Michler
Affiliation:
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures, CH-3602 Thun, Switzerland
*
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: Gaurav.Mohanty@empa.ch
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Abstract

In this study, we report a micropillar stress relaxation technique employing a stable displacement-controlled, in-situ scanning electron microscope indenter, and unusually large micropillars to precisely measure stress relaxation in electroplated nanocrystalline Ni thin films. The observed stress relaxation is significant under constant displacement: even well below the 0.2% offset yield strength, the stresses relax by ∼4% within a minute; in the work hardening regime, stress relaxes by ∼9% in 1 min. A logarithmic fit of the relaxation curves is consistent with an Arrhenius thermal activation of plasticity and suggests an activation volume in the vicinity of ∼10 b3. The apparent and effective activation volumes diverge at lower strains, particularly in the “elastic” regime. These measurements are compared to similar measurements performed on free-standing thin film tensile coupons. Both methods yield similar results, thereby validating the applicability of pillar compression to capture time-dependent plasticity. To our knowledge, these are the first micropillar stress relaxation experiments on metals ever reported.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2016 

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