Scientists unveil vacancy-assisted fatigue damage mechanism at small scales

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have uncovered a vacancy-assisted fatigue damage mechanism in submicron and nanometer scale metals. Through detailed analysis, they found that in thin gold films, severe fatigue behaviors occur without typical dislocation patterns seen in bulk metals. The continuous generation and migration of vacancies are key to the observed damage. This discovery enhances the understanding of metal fatigue at small scales and suggests new strategies for designing fatigue-tolerant materials, potentially impacting flexible electronics and new energy batteries.

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