We measure and analyze the statistics of nanoindentation pop-ins in a bulk metallic glass that has been annealed after being subjected to high pressure torsion. We argue that these pop-ins are avalanches of slip events. Larger slip avalanches are observed after annealing at higher temperatures. The slip avalanche size distribution shows scaling behavior and suggests the existence of a critical annealing temperature. Results are shown to be consistent with the predictions of a simple mean field theory. This implies that the statistics of slip avalanches in nanoindentation can be used to extract information about the structure, history, density, and free volume of the material. The methods employed here are expected to be applicable to a wide range of materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics