Interfaces in crystalline solids have enormous technological importance in determining mechanical properties of composites and morphologies of nanostructures. For example, interfaces may block slip even when dislocations move easily in both of the bounding crystals; Interfaces may be sinks for impurities and point defects. Combining atomistic simulations and in situ / ex situ transmission electron microscopy, we have systematically studied the defect structures and properties of coherent / incoherent interfaces and dissimilar crystalline interfaces, their role in determining material strength, plastic deformation, and fracture behaviors. From a multi-scale perspective, I will also discuss the recent effort in developing multi-scale materials modeling tools that incorporate atomistic findings regarding interface physics into the high length scale models. The potential applications in designing materials by tailoring interfaces are also discussed.
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