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Nucleation Theory for Yielding of Nearly Defect-Free Crystals: Understanding Rate Dependent Yield Points

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Vikranth Sagar Reddy, Parswa Nath, Jürgen Horbach, Peter Sollich, Surajit Sengupta

Original languageEnglish
Article number025503
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2020

King's Authors


Experiments and simulations show that when an initially defect-free rigid crystal is subjected to deformation at a constant rate, irreversible plastic flow commences at the so-called yield point. The yield point is a weak function of the deformation rate, which is usually expressed as a power law with an extremely small nonuniversal exponent. We reanalyze a representative set of published data on nanometer sized, mostly defect-free Cu, Ni, and Au crystals in light of a recently proposed theory of yielding based on nucleation of stable stress-free regions inside the metastable rigid solid. The single relation derived here, which is not a power law, explains data covering 15 orders of magnitude in timescales.

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