Using large-scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we investigate the energetics and local structures/stresses of partial dislocations, 1/3〈011̄0〉 and 1/3〈101̄0〉, dissociated from the 1/3〈112̄0〉 perfect basal edge dislocation in α-Al 2O3. The validity of the model adopted in the simulation is confirmed by comparing with theoretical stress/strain distributions and with those experimentally obtained from a high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) observation. Partial dislocation pairs have a stable inter-core distance (∼2 nm), which is also a phenomenon that is observed in the HRTEM experiments. The distance between the partials can be explained quantitatively by the balance between an elastic core-core repulsion and an effective attractive force against the extension of stacking faults (SFs). A comparison is made for two types of core structures of partial dislocations: a pair of partials with Al-terminated/O-terminated extra-half planes and that with Al-/Al-terminated ones. The overall tendency of the inter-core interaction and the equilibrium distances are the same in both cases, whereas the Al-O-terminated pair is slightly favourable in energy at the equilibrium distance. A residual shear stress on the SF plane is observed in the MD results, which can be attributed to local atomic structure in the SF.
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