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Deformation Twinning During Nanoindentation of Nanocrystalline Ta


The deformation mechanism of body-centered cubic (bcc) nanocrystalline tantalum with grain sizes of 10–30 nm is investigated by nanoindentation, scanning electron microscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. In a deviation from molecular dynamics simulations and existing experimental observations on other bcc nanocrystalline metals, the plastic deformation of nanocrystalline Ta during nanoindentation is controlled by deformation twinning. The observation of multiple twin intersections suggests that the physical mechanism of deformation twinning in bcc nanocrystalline materials is different from that in face-centered cubic (fcc) nanocrystalline metals.

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