Mechanical properties of bulk single crystalline nanoporous gold investigated by millimetre-scale tension and compression testing
In this work, the mechanical behaviour of millimetre-scale, bulk single crystalline, nanoporous gold at room temperature is reported for the first time. Tension and compression tests were performed with a custom-designed test system that accommodates small-scale samples. The absence of grain boundaries in the specimens allowed measurement of the inherent strength of millimetre-scale nanoporous gold in tension. The elastic modulus and strength values in tension and compression were found to be significantly lower than values measured with nanoindentation-based techniques and previously reported in the literature, but close to those reported for millimetre-scale polycrystalline samples tested using traditional compression techniques. Fracture toughness was found to be very low, in agreement with the macroscopic brittleness of nanoporous gold, but this is due to the localization of deformation to a narrow zone of ligaments, which individually exhibit significant plasticity and necking.