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Defects in nanocrystalline metals play a big role in unprecedented strength

In a recent publication, authors Gidong Sim (JHU) and Prof. Jessica Krogstad reported a novel metallic alloy that could be a game changer for next generation microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based on its exceptional strength and thermal stability.  The high density of nanotwins lead to unique interactions between dislocations and other strengthening mechanisms (grain boundary strengthening, solution strengthening, etc). For more about this research, you can find a number of press releases:

Ceramic Tech Today: “Stronger, more conductive alloy could replace silicon in MEMS”

Electronics 360 (IEEE): “Super-strength materials for the Internet of Things”

AZO Materials: “New metal alloy could be the solution to demands of futuristic technologies”

Science Daily: “Super-strong metal made for next tech frontier”

Materials Today: “New nickel alloy offers strong alternative to silicon in sensors”

Or download the original article:

Sim, G. D., Krogstad, J. A., Reddy, K. M., Xie, K. Y., Valentino, G. M., Weihs, T. P., & Hemker, K. J. (2017). Nanotwinned metal MEMS films with unprecedented strength and stability. Science Advances3(6), e1700685. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700685