Time-resolved atomic-scale observations of deformation and fracture of nanoporous gold under tension

Pan Liu*, Xiao Wei, Shuangxi Song, Lihua Wang, Akihiko Hirata, Takeshi Fujita, Xiaodong Han, Ze Zhang, Mingwei Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


It has been known for decades that nanopores produced by selective leaching during galvanic corrosion can lead to dramatic loss of materials ductility and strength under tension. However, the underlying atomic mechanisms of the nanopore induced embrittlement remain to be poorly known. Here we report in situ observations of the deformation and failure of dealloyed nanoporous gold by utilizing the state-of-the art aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy and fast direct electron detection camera. Our time-resolved atomic observations reveal that the brittle failure of the nanoporous gold originates from plastic instability of individual gold ligaments by the interplay between dislocation plasticity and stress-driving surface diffusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalActa Materialia
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Deformation
  • Failure
  • In situ TEM
  • Nanoporous gold
  • Tensile property

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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