Fracture toughening and toughness asymmetry induced by flexoelectricity
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Cracks generate the largest strain gradients that any material can withstand. Flexoelectricity (coupling between strain gradient and polarization) must therefore play an important role in fracture physics. Here we use a self-consistent continuum model to evidence two consequences of flexoelectricity in fracture: the resistance to fracture increases as structural size decreases, and it becomes asymmetric with respect to the sign of polarization. The latter phenomenon manifests itself in a range of intermediate sizes where piezo- and flexoelectricity compete. In BaTiO3 at room temperature, this range spans from 0.1 to 50 nm, a typical thickness range for epitaxial ferroelectric thin films.
CitationAbdollahi, A., Peco, C., Millán, D., Arroyo, M., Catalan, G., Arias, I. Fracture toughening and toughness asymmetry induced by flexoelectricity. "Physical review B: condensed matter and materials physics", 08 Setembre 2015, vol. 92, núm. 9, p. 1-7.