Effects of grain size and grain boundaries on defect production in nanocrystalline 3C-SiC

N Swaminathan and PJ Kamenski and D Morgan and I Szlufarska, ACTA MATERIALIA, 58, 2843-2853 (2010).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2010.01.009

Cascade simulations in single crystal and nanocrystalline SiC have been conducted in order to determine the role of grain boundaries and grain size on defect production during primary radiation damage Cascades are performed with 4 and 10 keV silicon as the primary knock-on atom (PKA). Total defect production is found to increase with decreasing grain size, and this effect is shown to be due to increased production in grain boundaries and changing grain boundary volume fraction In order to consider in-grain defect production. a new mapping methodology is developed to properly normalize in-grain defect production rates for nanocrystalline materials It is shown that the presence of grain boundaries does not affect the total normalized in-grain defect production significantly (the changes are lower than similar to 20%) for the PKA energies considered Defect production in the single grain containing the PKA is also studied and found to increase for smaller grain sizes In particular, for smaller grain sizes the defect production decreases with increasing distance from the grain boundary while for larger grain sizes the presence of the grain boundaries has negligible effect on defect production The results suggest that experimentally observed changes in radiation resistance of nanocrystalline materials may be due to long-term damage evolution rather than changes in defect production rates from primary damage (C) 2010 Acta Materialia Inc Published by Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved

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