Scanning transmission electron microscope observations of defects in as-grown and pre-strained Mo alloy fibers
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Compression testing of micro-pillars has recently been of great interest to the small-scale mechanics community. Previous compression tests on single crystal Mo alloy micro-pillars produced by directional solidification of eutectic alloys showed that as-grown pillars yield at strengths close to the theoretical strength while pre-strained pillars yield at considerably lower stresses. In addition, the flow behavior changes from stochastic to deterministic with increasing pre-strain. In order to gain a microstructural insight into this behavior, an aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope was used to study the defect structures in as-grown and pre-strained single crystal Mo alloy fibers. The as-grown fibers were found to be defect free over large lengths while the highly pre-strained (16%) fibers had high defect densities that were uniform throughout. Interestingly, the fibers with intermediate pre-strain (4%) exhibited an inhomogeneous defect distribution. The observed defect structures and their distributions are correlated with the previously reported stress-strain behavior. Some of the mechanistic interpretations of Bei et al. are examined in the light of new microstructural observations. 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.