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Oxide shell layer influences on size-dependent tensile and compressive mechanical properties of iron nanowires: A ReaxFF molecular dynamics study
The systematic understanding of an overall deformation mechanism of metallic iron (Fe) nanowires (NWs) with the pre-existing oxide shell layer (Fe/FexOy) under various mechanical loading conditions is of critical importance for their various applications. Herein, we perform molecular dynamics simulations using ReaxFF reactive interatomic potential to systematically investigate the effect of the pre-existing oxide shell layer on the underlying intrinsic mechanical deformation mechanism and related mechanical properties of metallic -oriented Fe NWs under both uniaxial tension and compressive loading. Three different diameters of the NWs are investigated to elucidate the size effect. The Fe NWs with the preoxide shell layer possess unique and intriguing mechanical properties and deformation mechanisms. In particular, the oxide shell layer with the combined effect of the diameter and the applied uniaxial loading mode dictates the strength and the overall stress-strain behaviors of the NWs. Interestingly, the oxide-coated NWs clearly exhibit the diameter-dependent elastic deformation intrinsic mechanism and related properties as compared to the pristine counterparts. Specifically, the pre-existing oxide shell layer expedites the onset of tensile plasticity by drastically reducing the tensile yield stress and significantly decreasing the tensile elastic limit. Contrary to the tensile loading, the presence of the oxide shell layer reduces or increases the compressive yield stress of the pristine Fe NW with respect to its diameter. However, the pre-existing oxide shell layer leads to a significantly delayed onset of compressive plasticity, that is, a significant increase in the compressive elastic limit. Published under license by AIP Publishing.