|Institution:||University of Helsinki|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/10138/153435|
The presence of dislocations in metal crystals accounts for the plasticity of metals. These dislocations do not nucleate spontaneously, but require favorable conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to, a high temperature, external stress, and an interface such as a grain boundary or a surface. The slip of dislocations leads to steps forming on the surface, as atomic planes are displaced along a line. If a void is placed very near a surface, the possibility of forming a dislocation platelet exists. The skip of the dislocation platelet would displace the surface atoms within a closed line. Repeating such a process may form a small protrusion on the surface. In this thesis, the mechanism with which a dislocations displace the surface atoms within a closed loop is studied by using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of copper. A spherical void is placed within the lattice, and the lattice is then subjected to an external stress. The dislocation reactions which lead to the formation of the dislocation platelet after the initial dislocation nucleation on the void is studied by running MD simulations of a void with the radius of 3 nm under tensile stress. Since the dislocations are thermally activated, the simulation proceeded differently for each run. We describe the different ways the dislocations nucleate, and the dislocation reactions that occur when they intersect to form the platelet. The activation energy of this process was studied by simulating half of a much larger void, with a radius of 8 nm, in order to obtain a more realistic nucleation environment. Formulas connecting the observable and controllable simulation variables with the energies of the nucleation are derived. The activation energies are then calculated and compared with values from literature.