Strengthening mechanisms in nanostructured copper/304 stainless steel multilayers

X. Zhang, A. Misra, H. Wang, T.D. Shen, J.G. Swadener, J.D. Embury, H. Kung, R.G. Hoagland, M. Nastasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanostructured Cu/304 stainless steel (SS) multilayers were prepared by magnetron sputtering. 304SS has a face-centered-cubic (fcc) structure in bulk. However, in the Cu/304SS multilayers, the 304SS layers exhibit the fcc structure for layer thickness of =5 nm in epitaxy with the neighboring fcc Cu. For 304SS layer thickness larger than 5 nm, body-centered-cubic (bcc) 304SS grains grow on top of the initial 5 nm fcc SS with the Kurdjumov-Sachs orientation relationship between bcc and fcc SS grains. The maximum hardness of Cu/304SS multilayers is about 5.5 GPa (factor of two enhancement compared to rule-of-mixtures hardness) at a layer thickness of 5 nm. Below 5 nm, hardness decreases with decreasing layer thickness. The peak hardness of fcc/fcc Cu/304SS multilayer is greater than that of Cu/Ni, even though the lattice-parameter mismatch between Cu and Ni is five times greater than that between Cu and 304SS. This result may primarily be attributed to the higher interface barrier stress for single-dislocation transmission across the {111} twinned interfaces in Cu/304SS as compared to the {100} interfaces in Cu/Ni.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1600-1606
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


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