Applications include nanotechnology, more
Defects such as cracks in a material are responsible for everything from malfunctioning microchips to earthquakes. Now MIT engineers have developed a model to predict a defects birthplace, its initial features and how it begins to advance through the material.
The model could be especially useful in nanotechnology. "As devices get smaller and smaller, understanding the phenomena of defect nucleation and growth becomes more and more important," said Subra Suresh, head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE). A seemingly minuscule dislocation--a local disorder in the arrangement of atoms inside a material--or a crack can drastically compromise the performance of a device.
"There has been much past work on defects in materials, but no one has really explained how a crack or void nucleates in the first place. This work is a first step to that end," said Suresh, an author of a paper on the work that appeared in a recent issue of Nature.
Elizabeth Thomson | EurekAlert!
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