2023 journal article
Effect of a micro-scale dislocation pileup on the atomic-scale multi-variant phase transformation and twinning
COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS SCIENCE, 230.
In this paper, we perform concurrent atomistic–continuum (CAC) simulations to assess the contribution of the internal stress induced by the microscale dislocation pileup at an atomically structured interface to the atomic-scale phase transformations (PTs), reverse PTs, and twinning. The main novelty of this work is to unify the atomistic description of the interface and the coarse-grained (CG) description of the lagging dislocations away from the interface within one single framework. Our major findings are: (a) the interface dynamically responds to a pileup by forming steps/ledges, the height of which is proportional to the number of dislocations arriving at the interface; (b) the pileup-induced internal stress concentration profile follows neither the classical Eshelby model nor the super-dislocation model alone, but a combination of them; (c) when the pre-sheared sample is compressed, a direct square-to-hexagonal PT occurs ahead of the pileup tip and eventually grows into a wedge shape. The two variants of the hexagonal phases form a twin with respect to each other; (d) upon a further increase of the loading, part of the newly formed hexagonal phase transforms back to the square phase. The square product phase resulting from this reverse PT forms a twin with respect to the initial square phase. All phase boundaries (PBs) and twin boundaries (TBs) are stationary and correspond to zero thermodynamic Eshelby driving forces; and (e) the microscale dislocation pileup-induced internal shear stress and the structural change at the atomic-scale interface reduces the stress required for initiating a PT by a factor of 5.5, comparing with that in the sample containing no dislocations. This work is the first characterization of the behavior of PTs/twinning resulting from the reaction between a microscale dislocation slip and an atomically structured interface. The gained knowledge will advance our understanding of how the multi-phase material behaves in many complex physical processes, such as the synthesis of multi-phase high-entropy alloys or superhard ceramics under high-pressure torsion, deep mantle earthquakes in geophysics, and so on, which all involve dislocation slip, PTs, twinning, and their interactions across from the atomistic to the microscale and beyond.