KS8109 Screw Dislocation Molecular Model

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Screw Dislocation Molecular Model

In materials science, a dislocation is a crystallographic defect, or irregularity, within a crystal structure. The presence of dislocations strongly influences many of the properties of materials. The theory describing the elastic fields of the defects was originally developed by Vito Volterra in 1907, but the term 'dislocation' to refer to a defect on the atomic scale was coined by G. I. Taylor in 1934. Some types of dislocations can be visualized as being caused by the termination of a plane of atoms in the middle of a crystal. In such a case, the surrounding planes are not straight, but instead they bend around the edge of the terminating plane so that the crystal structure is perfectly ordered on either side. The analogy with a stack of paper is apt: if half a piece of paper is inserted in a stack of paper, the defect in the stack is only noticeable at the edge of the half sheet.
There are two primary types: edge dislocations and screw dislocations. Mixed dislocations are intermediate between these.

Mathematically, dislocations are a type of topological defect, sometimes called a soliton. The mathematical theory explains why dislocations behave as stable particles: they can be moved around, but they maintain their identity as they move. Two dislocations of opposite orientation, when brought together, can cancel each other, but a single dislocation typically cannot "disappear" on its own.

A screw dislocation is much harder to visualize. Imagine cutting a crystal along a plane and slipping one half across the other by a lattice vector, the halves fitting back together without leaving a defect. This is similar to the Riemann surface of the logarithm map. If the cut only goes part way through the crystal, and then slipped, the boundary of the cut is a screw dislocation. It comprises a structure in which a helical path is traced around the linear defect (dislocation line) by the atomic planes in the crystal lattice (Figure C). Perhaps the closest analogy is a spiral-sliced ham. In pure screw dislocations, the Burgers vector is parallel to the line direction.
Despite the difficulty in visualization, the stresses caused by a screw dislocation are less complex than those of an edge dislocation. These stresses need only one equation, as symmetry allows only one radial coordinate to be used:
tau_{r} = frac {-mu b} {2 pi r}
where μ is the shear modulus of the material, b is the Burgers vector, and r is a radial coordinate. This equation suggests a long cylinder of stress radiating outward from the cylinder and decreasing with distance. Please note, this simple model results in an infinite value for the core of the dislocation at r=0 and so it is only valid for stresses outside of the core of the dislocation. If the Burgers vector is very large, the core may actually be empty resulting in a micropipe, as commonly observed in silicon carbide.