Effects of chemical alternation on damage accumulation in concentrated solid-solution alloys

MW Ullah and HZ Xue and G Velisa and K Jin and HB Bei and WJ Weber and YW Zhang, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7, 4146 (2017).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-04541-8

Single-phase concentrated solid-solution alloys (SP-CSAs) have recently gained unprecedented attention due to their promising properties. To understand effects of alloying elements on irradiation-induced defect production, recombination and evolution, an integrated study of ion irradiation, ion beam analysis and atomistic simulations are carried out on a unique set of model crystals with increasing chemical complexity, from pure Ni to Ni80Fe20, Ni50Fe50, and Ni80Cr20 binaries, and to a more complex Ni40Fe40Cr20 alloy. Both experimental and simulation results suggest that the binary and ternary alloys exhibit higher radiation resistance than elemental Ni. The modeling work predicts that Ni40Fe40Cr20 has the best radiation tolerance, with the number of surviving Frenkel pairs being factors of 2.0 and 1.4 lower than pure Ni and the 80:20 binary alloys, respectively. While the reduced defect mobility in SP-CSAs is identified as a general mechanism leading to slower growth of large defect clusters, the effect of specific alloying elements on suppression of damage accumulation is clearly demonstrated. This work suggests that concentrated solid-solution provides an effective way to enhance radiation tolerance by creating elemental alternation at the atomic level. The demonstrated chemical effects on defect dynamics may inspire new design principles of radiation-tolerant structural alloys for advanced energy systems.

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