Plastic deformation in zirconium nitride observed by nanoindentation and TEM

G. W. Egeland, K. Wheeler, Pedro Peralta, K. J. McClellan, S. A. Maloy, G. M. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A study on zirconium nitride using TEM and nanoindentation was performed to assess the significant surface plasticity found to be introduced by sample polishing. Cross-sectional TEM results show strong evidence of plasticity via dislocations produced directly from surface grinding and polishing. These dislocations were found to glide on the {011}〈01̄1〉 slip system. Using nanoindentation to observe the effects of surface dislocation density, a critical shear stress was found that relates to dislocations nucleation and multiplication. Continued chemo-mechanical polishing increased the critical shear stress to approximately 1600 mN by reducing surface dislocations. It is postulated that vacancy clusters and oxide microcrystallites produced during surface processing provide dislocation nucleation and/or multiplication sites. Gentle chemo-mechanical polishing for several hours greatly reduced or eliminated preexisting dislocations such that the critical shear stress for nucleation approaches the theoretical limit (∼G/5).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 30 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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