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Like martensitic transformations (MTs), inverse martensitic transformations (IMTs) are shear-dominant diffusionless transformations, but are driven by reduction in interfacial energies rather than bulk free energies, and exhibit distinctive behavior such as instantaneous initiation (like spinodal decomposition) and self-limiting lengthscale. Bulk Zr metal is known to undergo normal MT from the high-temperature bcc phase to the low-temperature hcp phase. Using molecular dynamics simulations we demonstrate that, unlike in the bulk, an IMT to the bcc structure can occur in (1100)-oriented hcp Zr nanowires at low temperatures, which is driven by the reduction in the nanowire surface energy. The bcc domains subsequently become distorted and transform into a new (1120)-oriented hcp domain, leading to reorientation of the nanowire. This behavior has implications for the study of structural transformations at the nanoscale and surface patterning.
Date Posted: 04 November 2010
This document has been peer reviewed.