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Title: Achieving reversibility of ultra-high mechanical stress by hydrogen loading of thin films

Nano-materials are commonly stabilized by supports to maintain their desired shape and size. When these nano-materials take up interstitial atoms, this attachment to the support induces mechanical stresses. These stresses can be high when the support is rigid. High stress in the nano-material is typically released by delamination from the support or by the generation of defects, e.g., dislocations. As high mechanical stress can be beneficial for tuning the nano-materials properties, it is of general interest to deduce how real high mechanical stress can be gained. Here, we show that below a threshold nano-material size, dislocation formation can be completely suppressed and, when delamination is inhibited, even the ultrahigh stress values of the linear elastic limit can be reached. Specifically, for hydrogen solved in epitaxial niobium films on sapphire substrate supports a threshold film thickness of 6 nm was found and mechanical stress of up to (−10 ± 1) GPa was reached. This finding is of basic interest for hydrogen energy applications, as the hydride stability in metals itself is affected by mechanical stress. Thus, tuning of the mechanical stress-state in nano-materials may lead to improved storage properties of nano-sized materials.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Institut of Materials Physics, University of Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22483072
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 106; Journal Issue: 24; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; DISLOCATIONS; EPITAXY; HYDROGEN; NANOSTRUCTURES; NIOBIUM; SAPPHIRE; STRESSES; SUBSTRATES; THICKNESS; THIN FILMS