Autocatalytic avalanches of unit inelastic shearing events are the mechanism of plastic deformation in amorphous silicon Academic Article uri icon


  • Discrete stress relaxations were found to be the source of low-temperature plastic flow in amorphous silicon (a-Si) as modeled by atomistic simulation using the Stillinger-Weber potential. These relaxations are triggered when a local yielding criterion is satisfied in a small cluster of atoms. The atomic rearrangements accompanying discrete stress relaxations are describable as autocatalytic avalanches of unit shearing events. Every such unit event centers on a clearly identifiable change in bond length between the two split peaks of the second nearest-neighbor shell in the radial distribution function of bulk a-Si in steady-state flow. 2005 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings

  • Physical Review B

author list (cited authors)

  • Demkowicz, M. J., & Argon, A. S.

citation count

  • 88

complete list of authors

  • Demkowicz, Michael J||Argon, Ali S

publication date

  • December 2005