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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 732434, 7 pages
Research Article

Continuum Fracture Analysis and Molecular Dynamic Study on Crack Initiation and Propagation in Nanofilms

College of Mechanics and Materials, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China

Received 5 October 2014; Revised 25 November 2014; Accepted 26 November 2014; Published 14 December 2014

Academic Editor: Sheng-Rui Jian

Copyright © 2014 Dan Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Crack initiation and propagation in a nanostructured nickel film were studied by molecular dynamic simulation as well as an interatomic-potential-based continuum approach. In the molecular dynamic simulation, the interatomic potential was described by using Embedded Atom Method (EAM), and a reduced 2D plane model was employed to simulate the mechanical behavior of nanofilms. Atomistic simulation shows that the reduced plane model in this paper can not only reveal the physical nature of crack initiation clearly but also give the critical time of crack initiation accurately as the continuum fracture analysis does. The normal stress and average atom energy at the crack tip which resulted from atomistic simulation at the time of crack initiation agree well with the analytical results. On the other hand, the crack propagation in nanofilms was studied by interatomic-potential-based continuum fracture mechanics analysis based on Griffith criterion. The coupled continuum-atomic analysis can predict the crack initiation and atomic stress accurately. Continuum analysis with material property parameters determined by interatomic potential is proved to be another promising way of solving failure problem on nanoscale.