Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


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NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 8: 1653, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01729-4.


Copyright © The Author(s) 2017. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Aluminium typically deforms via full dislocations due to its high stacking fault energy. Twinning in aluminium, although difficult, may occur at low temperature and high strain rate. However, the 9R phase rarely occurs in aluminium simply because of its giant stacking fault energy. Here, by using a laser-induced projectile impact testing technique, we discover a deformation-induced 9R phase with tens of nm in width in ultrafine-grained aluminium with an average grain size of 140 nm, as confirmed by extensive post-impact microscopy analyses. The stability of the 9R phase is related to the existence of sessile Frank loops. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal the formation mechanisms of the 9R phase in aluminium. This study sheds lights on a deformation mechanism in metals with high stacking fault energies.