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Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Integrated Nanotechnologies
Helping you understand, create, and characterize nanomaterials

2020 Highlights

A selection of CINT science highlights from staff and user research.

CINT Contact  

  • Khalid Hattar
  • In-Situ Characterization and Nanomechanics Thrust
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Crushing Nanoboxes

Scientific Achievement

The ability to simultaneously control yield strength and hardening by changing sample dimensions – while keeping the same structural geometry – has been demonstrated using in-situ SEM and TEM compression of gold-silver nanoboxes and molecular dynamics simulations.

Significance and Impact

These nanoboxes provide a tool for fundamental studies into the transitions in deformation mechanisms at extremely small sizes where dislocation nucleation controls plasticity. They could also be used as building blocks in self-assembled, hierarchical materials with tailored yield strength and hardening.

Research Details

  • The image shows deformed nanoboxes.Bottom-up colloidal synthesis was used to fabricate hollow gold-silver nanoboxes ∼140 nm long and with a wall thickness of ∼15 nm.
  • The image shows deformed nanoboxes. On the left is a post-compression SEM image. Pre- and post- compression TEM images during in-situ TEM compression testing are shown in the middle and right respectively. The scale bar is 100 nm in all images.
  • Smooth nanoboxes yield at approx. 130 (± 45) MPa.
  • Rough nanoboxes yield at approx. 96 (± 31) MPa.

Publication: Patil RP, Doan D, Aitken ZH, Chen S, Kiani MT, Barr CM, Hattar K, Zhang YW, Gu XW. Hardening in Au-Ag nanoboxes from stacking fault-dislocation interactions. Nature Communications. 2020 Jun 10;11(1):1-9. [DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16760-1]

Funding: We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Stanford SystemX Alliance. M.T.K. is supported by the National Defense and Science Engineering Graduate Fellowship. D.D. is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. 1656518. C.M.B. and K.H. time was fully supported by the Division of Materials Science and Engineering, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy. Part of this work was performed at the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (SNSF), which is supported by the National Science Foundation under award ECCS-1542152. This work was performed, in part, at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S. DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA-0003525. We thank Prof. Ill Ryu for insightful discussion regarding underlying mechanisms in rough nanobox deformations. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) under grant AMDM A1898b0043, and the use of computing resources at the A*STAR Computational Resource Centre, Singapore.