In Situ Transmission Electron Microscopy for Ultrahigh Temperature Mechanical Testing of ZrO2

Robson L. Grosso, Eliana N.S. Muccillo, Dereck N.F. Muche, Gowtham S. Jawaharram, Christopher M. Barr, Anthony M. Monterrosa, Ricardo H.R. Castro, Khalid Hattar, Shen J. Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work demonstrates a novel approach to ultrahigherature mechanical testing using a combination of in situ nanomechanical testing and localized laser heating. The methodology is applied to characterizing and testing initially nanograined 10 mol % Sc2O3-stabilized ZrO2 up to its melting temperature. The results suggest that the lowerature strength of nanograined, d < 50 nm, oxides is not influenced by creep. Tensile fracture of ZrO2 bicrystals produce a weakerature dependence suggesting that grain boundary energy dominates brittle fracture of grain boundaries even at high homologous temperatures; for example, T = 2050 °C or T ≈ 77% Tmelt. The maximum temperature for mechanical testing in this work is primarily limited by the instability of the sample, due to evaporation or melting, enabling a host of new opportunities for testing materials in the ultrahigherature regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1046
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 12 2020


  • Grain boundary
  • In situ
  • Nanocrystalline
  • Nanomechanical testing
  • Transmission electron microscopy
  • Ultrahigh temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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