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Tuning length scale effect of hardness in Ag/Nb/Cu/Nb multilayers by Nb amorphous interlayer
Materials Science and Engineering: A  (IF5.234),  Pub Date : 2022-01-10, DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2022.142651
M.Z. Wei, J.Z. Huo, C.C. Wang, Y.J. Ma, H.Z. Pan, Z.H. Cao, X.K. Meng

In this work, the hardness of Ag/Nb/Cu/Nb multilayers with Nb amorphous interlayer were investigated as the individual layer thickness of Ag or Cu (hAg or hCu) varies from 5 to 120 nm. The hardness values of Ag/Nb/Cu/Nb multilayers improve a lot compared with those of the Ag/Cu multilayers and the length scale effect of strengthening becomes broadening in the range of 5–60 nm. At hAg = 60 nm, the hardness remains high and reaches 95% of the maximum hardness of hAg = 5 nm. The enhancement can be contributed to the modulus mismatch and the crystal/amorphous interfaces (CAIs) due to the addition of Nb amorphous interlayer. These CAIs can both increase resistance of dislocations transmission and inhibit the deformation of the amorphous layer.