Grain rotation mediated by grain boundary dislocations in nanocrystalline platinum

Lihua Wang, Jiao Teng, Pan Liu, Akihiko Hirata, En Ma, Ze Zhang, Mingwei Chen, Xiaodong Han*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

282 Citations (Scopus)


Grain rotation is a well-known phenomenon during high (homologous) temperature deformation and recrystallization of polycrystalline materials. In recent years, grain rotation has also been proposed as a plasticity mechanism at low temperatures (for example, room temperature for metals), especially for nanocrystalline grains with diameter d less than ∼15 nm. Here, in tensile-loaded Pt thin films under a high-resolution transmission electron microscope, we show that the plasticity mechanism transitions from cross-grain dislocation glide in larger grains (d>6 nm) to a mode of coordinated rotation of multiple grains for grains with d<6 nm. The mechanism underlying the grain rotation is dislocation climb at the grain boundary, rather than grain boundary sliding or diffusional creep. Our atomic-scale images demonstrate directly that the evolution of the misorientation angle between neighbouring grains can be quantitatively accounted for by the change of the Frank-Bilby dislocation content in the grain boundary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4402
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 17
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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