Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that surfaces strongly influence the strain localization behavior of amorphous nanowires in tension. A sample preparation routine that simulates casting was employed to facilitate the relaxation of the sample surface. Samples as short as 15 nm (7.5 nm in diameter) form dominant shear bands during deformation. The elastic energy release during plastic deformation is sufficient to provide the excess potential energy required for the shear band nucleation at rather small sample sizes. The results show that shear band formation is almost size-independent and is bounded only by its own length scale.
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