Atomic scale origin of crack resistance in brittle fracture

A. Mattoni, L. Colombo, F. Cleri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the physical meaning of the intrinsic crack resistance in the Griffith theory of brittle fracture by means of atomic-scale simulations. By taking cubic SiC as a typical brittle material, we show that the widely accepted identification of intrinsic crack resistance with the free surface energy underestimates the energy-release rate. The strain dependence of the Young modulus and surface energy, as well as allowance for lattice trapping, improve the estimate of the crack resistance. In the smallest scale limit, crack resistance can be fitted by an empirical elastoplastic model. © 2005 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115501
Pages (from-to)-
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this