Asymmetric twins in rhombohedral boron carbide

Takeshi Fujita, Pengfei Guan, K. Madhav Reddy, Akihiko Hirata, Junjie Guo, Mingwei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Superhard materials consisting of light elements have recently received considerable attention because of their ultrahigh specific strength for a wide range of applications as structural and functional materials. However, the failure mechanisms of these materials subjected to high stresses and dynamic loading remain to be poorly known. We report asymmetric twins in a complex compound, boron carbide (B4C), characterized by spherical-aberration- corrected transmission electron microscopy. The atomic structure of boron-rich icosahedra at rhombohedral vertices and cross-linked carbon-rich atomic chains can be clearly visualized, which reveals unusual asymmetric twins with detectable strains along the twin interfaces. This study offers atomic insights into the structure of twins in a complex material and has important implications in understanding the planar defect-related failure of superhard materials under high stresses and shock loading.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021907
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 13
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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