Yield stress in metallic glasses: The jamming-unjamming transition studied through Monte Carlo simulations based on the activation-relaxation technique

TitleYield stress in metallic glasses: The jamming-unjamming transition studied through Monte Carlo simulations based on the activation-relaxation technique
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsRodney, D, Schuh, CA
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume80
Issue18
Date Published2009/11//
Abstract

A Monte Carlo approach allowing for stress control is employed to study the yield stress of a two-dimensional metallic glass in the limit of low temperatures and long (infinite) time scales. The elementary thermally activated events are determined using the activation-relaxation technique (ART). By tracking the minimum-energy state of the glass for various applied stresses, we find a well-defined jamming-unjamming transition at a yield stress about 30% lower than the steady-state flow stress obtained in conventional strain-controlled quasistatic simulations. ART is then used to determine the evolution of the distribution of thermally activated events in the glass microstructure both below and above the yield stress. We show that aging below the yield stress increases the stability of the glass, both thermodynamically (the internal potential energy decreases) and dynamically (the aged glass is surrounded by higher-energy barriers than the initial quenched configuration). In contrast, deformation above the yield stress brings the glass into a high internal potential energy state that is only marginally stable, being surrounded by a high density of low-energy barriers. The strong influence of deformation on the glass state is also evidenced by the microstructure polarization, revealed here through an asymmetry of the distribution of thermally activated inelastic strains in glasses after simple shear deformation.