Electron work function: a novel probe for toughness†
In this study, based on the calculation of surface properties, ideal strengths and responses of electron localization to the deformation, it was demonstrated that the fracture toughness of transition metals can be correlated to their electron work function. Within the range where the electron work function is smaller than 4.6 eV, the fracture toughness increases with the electron work function. However, if the electron work function exceeds 4.6 eV, then the fracture toughness decreases with an increase in electron work function. This evidence indicates that electron work function could be a sensitive parameter for material selection in order to control the fracture toughness.