Crystal structure and composition dependence of mechanical properties of single-crystalline NbCo2 Laves phase

Luo, W. and Kirchlechner, C. and Zavašnik, J. and Lu, W. and Dehm, G. and Stein, F.

Volume: 184 Pages: 151-163
DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2019.11.036
Published: 2020

Extended diffusion layers of the cubic C15 and hexagonal C14 and C36 NbCo2 Laves phases with concentration gradients covering their entire homogeneity ranges were produced by the diffusion couple technique. Single-phase and single-crystalline micropillars of the cubic and hexagonal NbCo2 Laves phases were prepared in the diffusion layers by focused ion beam (FIB) milling. The influence of chemical composition, structure type, orientation and pillar size on the deformation behavior and the critical resolved shear stress (CRSS) was studied by micropillar compression tests. The pillar orientation influences the activated slip systems, but the deformation behavior and the CRSS are independent of orientation. The deformation of the smallest NbCo2 micropillars (0.8 µm in top diameter) appears to be dislocation nucleation controlled and the CRSS approaches the theoretical shear stress for dislocation nucleation. The CRSS of the 0.8 µm-sized NbCo2 micropillars is nearly constant from 26 to 34 at.% Nb where the C15 structure is stable. It decreases as the composition approaches the Co-rich and Nb-rich boundaries of the homogeneity range where the C15 structure transforms to the C36 and the C14 structure, respectively. The decrease in the CRSS at these compositions is related to the reduction of shear modulus and stacking fault energy. As the pillar size increases, stochastic deformation behavior and large scatter in the CRSS values occur and obscure the composition effect on the CRSS. © 2019

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