The mechanical response of micron-sized molecular crystals Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractMicrostructures and corresponding properties of compacted powders ultimately depend on the mechanical response of individual particles. In principle, computational simulations can predict the results of powder compaction processes, but the selection of appropriate models for both particle–particle interactions and particle deformations across all relevant length scales remain nontrivial tasks, especially in material systems lacking detailed mechanical property information. The work presented here addresses these issues by conducting uniaxial compressions in situ inside of a scanning electron microscope to characterize the mechanical response of individual micron-sized particles of a molecular crystal, hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (CL-20). This experimental approach enabled the collection of quantitative force and displacement data alongside simultaneous imaging to capture morphology changes. The results reveal information about elastic deformation, yield, plastic deformation, creep, and fracture phenomena. Accordingly, this work demonstrates a generalizable approach for assessing the mechanical response of individual micron-sized molecular crystal particles and utilizing those responses in particle-level models. Graphic abstract

published proceedings

  • MRS Advances

author list (cited authors)

  • Barr, C. M., Cooper, M., Lechman, J., & Bufford, D. C.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Barr, Christopher M||Cooper, Marcia||Lechman, Jeremy||Bufford, Daniel C

publication date

  • September 2021