Mechanical properties of nanoporous gold in tension

Nilesh Badwe, Xiying Chen, Karl Sieradzki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


We report results of the tensile properties of nanoporous gold (NPG) as a function of the density and average ligament diameter. As-dealloyed tensile samples were thermally treated to coarsen the length scale of the NPG structure while increasing the sample density resulting from thickness reductions. The behaviors of samples with mean ligament diameters ranging from 30 to 750 nm and corresponding densities ranging from 0.30 to 0.57 that of bulk gold were examined. Digital image analysis was used to obtain ligament size histograms that were fit to the Weibull distribution. The Young's modulus was found to obey a power law, but with an exponent larger than that predicted by Gibson-Ashby scaling. The fracture behavior showed a brittle-ductile transition as a function of increasing ligament size. For samples characterized by a mean ligament diameter less than ∼ 220 nm, the tensile behavior was linear elastic to sample fracture while samples with larger scale ligaments showed macroscopic yielding prior to fracture. These results are interpreted within the framework of extreme value statistics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Brittle-to-ductile transition
  • Digital image analysis
  • Extreme value statistics
  • Mechanical properties
  • Nanoporous gold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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