Creep behavior of nanocrystalline Au films as a function of temperature

Nikhil Karanjgaokar, Ioannis Chasiotis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Freestanding nanocrystalline Au films, subjected to nominally elastic loads at 25–110 °C, demonstrated high primary (10−7–10−4 s−1) and steady-state creep rates (10−8–10−5 s−1). The deformation mechanisms for creep were strongly temperature dependent: grain boundary sliding-based creep dominated at room temperature and 50 °C, while the contribution of dislocation-mediated creep increased at 80 and 110 °C. The effect of applied stress on primary and steady-state creep strain at different temperatures was captured well by a non-linear model that was based on the kinetics of thermal activation. Multi-cycle creep experiments showed that at room temperature virtually all the primary strain accumulated during each forward creep cycle was recovered upon complete unloading. As the contribution of dislocation-mediated creep increased with temperature, the ratio of strain recovery to primary strain accumulated during each cycle was reduced due to the accumulation of plastic strain at higher temperatures. Notably, at all temperatures, the steady-state creep rate decreased after the first creep cycle. Moreover, the entire creep response remained virtually unchanged in all subsequent cycles, which implies that the first creep cycle resulted in mechanical annealing. This conclusion was further supported by calculations of the activation entropy: A reduction in its magnitude between the first and all subsequent creep cycles at all temperatures pointed out to mechanical annealing of initial material defects during the first loading cycle. The negative values of the calculated activation entropy indicated that entropy changes due to annihilation of defects-dominated entropy changes associated with the generation of new defects. Finally, the activation entropy for steady-state creep was temperature insensitive, but increased with stress, which is consistent with an increase in defect generation at higher stresses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3701-3714
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • General Materials Science
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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