|Title||Determining the activation energy and volume for the onset of plasticity during nanoindentation|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Authors||Mason, JK, Lund, AC, Schuh, CA|
|Journal||Physical Review B|
Nanoindentation experiments are performed on single crystals of platinum, and the elastic-plastic transition is studied statistically as a function of temperature and indentation rate. The experimental results are consistent with a thermally activated mechanism of incipient plasticity, where higher time-at-temperature under load promotes yield. Using a statistical thermal activation model with a stress-biasing term, the data are analyzed to extract the activation energy, activation volume, and attempt frequency for the rate-limiting event that controls yield. In addition to a full numerical model without significant limiting assumptions, a simple graphical approximation is also developed for quick and reasonable estimation of the activation parameters. Based on these analyses, the onset of plasticity is believed to be associated with a heterogeneous process of dislocation nucleation, with an atomic-scale, low-energy event as the rate limiter.