A nonplanar Peierls-Nabarro model and its application to dislocation cross-slip

A novel semidiscrete Peierls–Nabarro model is introduced which can be used to study dislocation spreading at more than one slip plane, such as dislocation cross-slip and junctions. Within this essentially continuum model, the nonlinearity which arises from the atomic interaction across the slip plane is dealt with atomistic and/or ab initio calculations. As an example, we study the dislocation cross-slip and the constriction process in two contrasting fcc metals, Al and Ag. We find that the screw dislocation in Al can cross-slip spontaneously in contrast with the screw dislocation in Ag, which splits into two partials, and thus cannot cross-slip without first being constricted. The response of the dislocations to an external stress is examined in detail. The dislocation constriction energy and the critical stress for cross-slip are determined, and, from the latter, we estimate the cross-slip energy barrier for the straight screw dislocations.