Role of graphene layers on the radiation resistance of copper-graphene nanocomposite: Inhibiting the expansion of thermal spike

H Huang and XB Tang and FD Chen and J Liu and D Chen, JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS, 493, 322-329 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.06.023

Metalegraphene nanocomposites are expected to have excellent radiation resistance. The intrinsic role of the graphene layers (GrLs) in their performance has not been fully understood. Five copper-graphene nanocomposite (CGNC) systems were used to investigate the detailed mechanisms underpinning this behaviour by atomistic simulation. Results showed that GrLs can reduce the formation, growth, and intensity of the thermal spike of CGNC; this effect became more evident with the increasing number of layers of graphene. The role of the GrLs can be explained by three mechanisms: first, the ultra-strength C-C bonds of graphene hindered the penetration of high-energy atoms, second, the number of recoiled atoms decreased with the increasing number of layers of graphene, and third, the energy dissipation along the graphene planes also indirectly weakened the damage caused to the entire system. These mechanisms may provide a pathway to prevent material degradation in extreme radiation environments. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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