Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Thermodynamic Properties in Uranium Dioxide

XY Wang and B Wu and F Gao and X Li and X Sun and MA Khaleel and AV Akinlalu and L Liu, NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, 176, 360-369 (2014).

In the present study, we investigated the thermodynamic properties of uranium dioxide (UO2) by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. As for solid UO2, the lattice parameter, density, and enthalpy obtained by MD simulations were in good agreement with existing experimental data and previous theoretical predictions. The calculated thermal conductivities matched the experiment results at the midtemperature range but were underestimated at very low and very high temperatures. The calculation results of mean square displacement represented the stability of uranium at all temperatures and the high mobility of oxygen toward 3000 K. By fitting the diffusivity constant of oxygen with the Vogel-FulcherTamman law, we noticed a secondary phase transition near 2006.4 K, which can be identified as a "strong'' to "fragile'' supercooled liquid or glass phase transition in UO2. By fitting the oxygen diffusion constant with the Arrhenius equation, activation energies of 2.0 and 2.7 eV that we obtained were fairly close to the recommended values of 2.3 to 2.6 eV.

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