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Comparative investigation of strength and plastic instability in Cu/Au and Cu/Cr multilayers by indentation

  • Y.P. Li (a1), X.F. Zhu (a1), J. Tan (a1), B. Wu (a1), W. Wang (a1) and G.P. Zhang (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 January 2011

The mechanical response to indentation (including nano- and microindentation) has been investigated in Cu/Au and Cu/Cr multilayers with respective layer thickness ratios of 1:1 and 2:1, and individual layer thickness ranging from nanometer to submicrometer scale. It was found that the Cu/Cr multilayer has higher strength than the Cu/Au multilayer, although both multilayers have close Hall–Petch slope. Examination of indentation-induced deformation behavior shows that the Cu/Cr multilayer exhibits higher resistance to plastic deformation instability than the Cu/Au multilayer. Theoretical analysis indicates that the significant difference in mechanical response originates from the constituent layer configuration and interface structures, which impose distinguishing confining effect on dislocation activity.

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