It has been known for decades that nanopores produced by selective leaching during galvanic corrosion can lead to dramatic loss of materials ductility and strength under tension. However, the underlying atomic mechanisms of the nanopore induced embrittlement remain to be poorly known. Here we report in situ observations of the deformation and failure of dealloyed nanoporous gold by utilizing the state-of-the art aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy and fast direct electron detection camera. Our time-resolved atomic observations reveal that the brittle failure of the nanoporous gold originates from plastic instability of individual gold ligaments by the interplay between dislocation plasticity and stress-driving surface diffusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys