Bending and tensile deformation of metallic nanowires
Using molecular statics simulations and the embedded atom method, a technique for bending silver nanowires and calculating Young's modulus via continuum mechanics has been developed. The measured Young's modulus values extracted from bending simulations were compared with modulus values calculated from uniaxial tension simulations for a range of nanowire sizes, orientations and geometries. Depending on axial orientation, the nanowires exhibit stiffening or softening under tension and bending as size decreases. Bending simulations typically result in a greater variation of Young's modulus values with nanowire size compared with tensile deformation, which indicates a loading-method- dependent size effect on elastic properties at sub-5 nm wire diameters. Since the axial stress is maximized at the lateral surfaces in bending, the loading-method-dependent size effect is postulated to be primarily a result of differences in nanowire surface and core elastic modulus. The divergence of Young's modulus from the bulk modulus in these simulations occurs at sizes below the range in which experiments have demonstrated a size scale effect on elastic properties of metallic nanowires. This difference indicates that other factors beyond native metallic surface properties play a role in experimentally observed nanowire elastic modulus size effects. © 2008 IOP Publishing Ltd.
McDowell, MT; Leach, AM; Gall, K
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