A study of conditions for dislocation nucleation in coarser-than-atomistic scale models
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We perform atomistic simulations of dislocation nucleation in defect free crystals in 2 and 3 dimensions during indentation with circular (2D) or spherical (3D) indenters. The kinematic structure of the theory of Field Dislocation Mechanics (FDM) is shown to allow the identification of a local feature of the atomistic velocity field in these simulations as indicative of dislocation nucleation. It predicts the precise location of the incipient spatially distributed dislocation field, as shown for the cases of the Embedded Atom Method potential for Al and the Lennard–Jones pair potential. We demonstrate the accuracy of this analysis for two crystallographic orientations in 2D and one in 3D. Apart from the accuracy in predicting the location of dislocation nucleation, the FDM based analysis also demonstrates superior performance than existing nucleation criteria in not persisting in time beyond the nucleation event, as well as differentiating between phase boundary/shear band and dislocation nucleation. Our analysis is meant to facilitate the modeling of dislocation nucleation in coarser-than-atomistic scale models of the mechanics of materials.