Publication: Oxidation induced softening in Al nanowires

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Title Oxidation induced softening in Al nanowires
Authors/Editors* F.G. Sen, Y. Qi, A.C.T. van Duin, A.T. Alpas
Where published* Applied Physics Letters
How published* Journal
Year* 2013
Volume 102
Pages 051912
The mechanical properties of metallic nanowires depend dramatically on the atmospheric conditions. Molecular-dynamics simulations with ReaxFF were conducted to study tensile elastic deformation of oxidized Al nanowires. The thin amorphous oxide shell formed around Al nanowires had a very low Young’s modulus of 26 GPa, due to its low density and low Al-O coordination. Consequently, for diameters less than 100 nm, the composite Young’s modulus of oxide-covered Al nanowires showed a size dependence implying that in this case “smaller is softer.” The model developed also explained the discrepancies in the reported modulus values of nanometer-scale Al thin films.

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