The existence of a well-defined yield stress, where a macroscopic crystal begins to plastically flow, has been a basic observation in materials science. In contrast with macroscopic samples, in microcrystals the strain accumulates in random bursts, which makes controlled plastic formation difficult. Here we study by 2D and 3D simulations the plastic deformation of submicron objects under increasing stress. We show that, while the stress-strain relation of individual samples exhibits jumps, its average and mean deviation still specify a well-defined critical stress. The statistical background of this phenomenon is analyzed through the velocity distribution of dislocations, revealing a universal cubic decay and the appearance of a shoulder due to dislocation avalanches.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)