Persistent homology (PH) was applied to probe the structural changes of glasses under shear. PH associates each local atomistic structure in an atomistic configuration to a geometric object, namely, a hole, and evaluates the robustness of these holes against noise. We found that the microscopic structures were qualitatively different before and after yielding. The structures before yielding contained robust holes, the number of which decreased after yielding. We also observed that the structures after yielding approached those of quickly quenched glass. This work demonstrates the crucial role of robust holes in yielding and provides an interpretation based on geometry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas