Notch insensitive fracture in nanoscale thin films

Kumar, S.; Haque, M. A.; Gao, H.
June 2009
Applied Physics Letters;6/22/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 25, p253104
Academic Journal
To study the effect of stress concentration at the nanoscale, we performed fracture experiments on single edge notched thin film specimens inside the transmission electron microscope. Even at about 4 GPa stress at the notch tip, the specimens failed far away from the notch at places with no apparent stress concentration. The in situ electron microscopy showed evidence of little or no plastic deformation at the notch tip. We propose that the apparent notch insensitivity arises from the breakdown of the classical fracture mechanics at the nanoscale, where materials fail by reaching a uniform rupture stress and not due to stress concentration.


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