An Ab Initio Study of Connections between Tensorial Elastic Properties and Chemical Bonds in Sigma5(210) Grain Boundaries in Ni3Si
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Using quantum-mechanical methods we calculate and analyze (tensorial) anisotropic elastic properties of the ground-state configurations of interface states associated with Sigma5(210) grain boundaries (GBs) in cubic L12-structure Ni3Si. We assess the mechanical stability of interface states with two different chemical compositions at the studied GB by checking rigorous elasticity-based Born stability criteria. In particular, we show that a GB variant containing both Ni and Si atoms at the interface is unstable with respect to shear deformation (one of the elastic constants, C55, is negative). This instability is found for a rectangular-parallelepiped supercell obtained when applying standard coincidence-lattice construction. Our elastic-constant analysis allowed us to identify a shear-deformation mode reducing the energy and, eventually, to obtain mechanically stable ground-state characterized by a shear-deformed parallelepiped supercell. Alternatively, we tested a stabilization of this GB interface state by Al substituents replacing Si atoms at the GB.We further discuss an atomistic origin of this instability in terms of the crystal orbital Hamilton population (COHP) and phonon dispersion calculations. We find that the unstable GB variant shows a very strong interaction between the Si atoms in the GB plane and Ni atoms in the 3rd plane off the GB interface. However, such bond reinforcement results in weakening of interaction between the Ni atoms in the 3rd plane and the Si atoms in the 5th plane making this GB variant mechanically unstable.
Document typePeer reviewed
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SourceMaterials . 2018, vol. 11, issue 11, p. 2263--.