Defect Evolution by Relinking and Joining

Below is a set of consecutive images taken with an atomic force microscope, with the first image in each pair being taken following an initial 2 hour annealing process. The second image represents the same area after an additional hour of annealing. Schematic representations have been included to aid the eye in following the actual patterns.

(a) 2 µm by 1.5 µm images of microdomains annealed for 2 hrs and 3 hrs at 523 K. (b) and (c) 0.5 µm by 0.5 µm image of open-ended defects forming a y-joint. (d) Y-joint annihilation. (e) and (f) Two single-ended def ects joining each other. (g) Defect evolution through relinking.

[close window]