Stress-assisted grain growth at room temperature is identified as a plastic deformation mechanism in nanocrystalline thin films. Unique surface relief is attributed to the direct application of stress-coupled grain boundary migration theory. The figure shows a false-color SEM image of surface topography and an AFM height profile as a result of stress-assisted grain growth. A strategy for tailoring the mechanical properties of nanostructured metals is shown.
Stress-driven surface topography evolution in nanocrystalline Al thin films
D.S. Gianola, C. Eberl,
Adv. Mat., Band 20, Seiten 303-308 (2008)