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The Deformation of Single, Nanometer-Sized Metal Crystals in Graphitic Shells


  • Support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (BA 1884/4) and from the Electron Microscopy Centre Mainz (EMZM) is gratefully acknowledged. The authors thank J. De Hosson and J. Neethling for helpful discussions.


Deformation of single, nanometer-sized metal crystals is monitored in situ by transmission electron microscopy (see Figure). Compressive forces from graphitic shells encapsulating Mo or W crystals lead to slow but considerable deformation. The formation of twins and grain boundaries is observed. Sustained or cyclic deformation leads to re-annealing of defects so that a permanent accumulation of defects in the crystals does not occur.

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