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X-ray microbeam measurements of individual dislocation cell elastic strains in deformed single-crystal copper


The distribution of elastic strains (and thus stresses) at the submicrometre length scale within deformed metal single crystals has remarkably broad implications for our understanding of important physical phenomena. These include the evolution of the complex dislocation structures that govern mechanical behaviour within individual grains1,2,3, the transport of dislocations through such structures4,5,6, changes in mechanical properties that occur during reverse loading7,8,9 (for example, sheet-metal forming and fatigue), and the analyses of diffraction line profiles for microstructural studies of these phenomena10,11,12,13,14,15. We present the first direct, spatially resolved measurements of the elastic strains within individual dislocation cells in copper single crystals deformed in tension and compression along 〈001〉 axes. Broad distributions of elastic strains are found, with important implications for theories of dislocation structure evolution3,16,17,18,19,20, dislocation transport4,5,6, and the extraction of dislocation parameters from X-ray line profiles10,11,12,13,14,15,21,22,23,24.

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Figure 1: Diagram of the experimental geometry showing how monochromatic differential aperture X-ray microscopy was used in these experiments.
Figure 2: Comparison between spatially integrated and spatially resolved X-ray diffraction experiments on deformed copper single-crystals.


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M.E.K. and M.D.R. acknowledge support from the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES), DoE, and thank the National Center for Electron Microscopy at LBNL for access to the TEM. Research at ORNL is supported by DoE BES Division of Materials Sciences under contract with UT-Battelle, LLC. The XOR/UNI facilities on sectors 33 and 34 at the APS are supported by the US DoE, Office of Science.

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Correspondence to Lyle E. Levine.

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Levine, L., Larson, B., Yang, W. et al. X-ray microbeam measurements of individual dislocation cell elastic strains in deformed single-crystal copper. Nature Mater 5, 619–622 (2006).

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