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Coherent X-ray diffraction applied to metal physics

Abstract : The mechanical properties of small objects deviate strongly from the bulk behaviour, as soon as their size becomes comparable or smaller to the dislocation mean free path (typically a few microns). For instance, their elastic limit increase when their size is reduced. On a another hand, nanostructures are exposed to strong constraints, such as that imposed by epitaxial relations with a substrate. Altogether, there is a clear need (supported by industrial interests) for a better understanding of the fundamental phenomena that govern the mechanical properties of materials at the nanometre scale. The lab SIMaP is engaged in this research and tackles the topic by combining sample growth, laboratory characterisation methods, numerical models, and synchrotron techniques.One key experiment developed by our team is the in situ characterisation of the deformation mechanism induced by an AFM tip on a nanostructure using Coherent X-ray Diffraction (CXD). CXD is an emerging synchrotron technique that allows the detailed measurement of the crystal structure,including strain field and defects, of micro/nano-objects. In principle, a 3D image of the structure of the sample can be obtained from the CXD data. However, it remains difficult in realistic cases, when the strain is very inhomogeneous and crystal defects numerous. The problem is further complicated by the wavefront of the beam, which is usually far from a plane wave, particularly when the AFM tip shadows part of the incoming beam. In this PHD work, it is demonstrated that a 3D image of the object can be reconstructed in case of moderately complex systems.
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Maxime Dupraz. Coherent X-ray diffraction applied to metal physics. Materials. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015GREAI103⟩. ⟨tel-01285735⟩

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