Experimental quantification of mechanically induced boundary migration in nanocrystalline copper films

Paul F. Rottmann, Kevin J. Hemker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A new experimental technique is presented that combines in situ straining with transmission electron microscope-based automated crystal orientation mapping to document microstructural evolution with nanoscale resolution at sequential stages of deformation. Orientation maps of freestanding annealed nanocrystalline Cu films have been collected, and the resultant datasets provide direct measures of grain size, shape and orientation as well as local grain boundary character and position at various stages of applied strain. Numerous examples of stress-driven grain boundary and twin boundary migration were recorded and studied. Detailed analysis of the misorientation of mobile and immobile grain boundaries provided clear experimental evidence that a broad range of grain boundaries are susceptible to stress-assisted migration; no general correlation between grain boundary misorientation and mobility was detected. Incoherent Σ3 boundaries were observed to be significantly more mobile than coherent Σ3 twin boundaries. Nevertheless, deformation twins were observed to nucleate and grow from grain boundaries and triple points.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Acta Materialia Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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