Helium bubbles aggravated defects production in self-irradiated copper

FC Wu and YB Zhu and Q Wu and XZ Li and P Wang and HA Wu, JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS, 496, 265-273 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.09.042

Under the environment of high radiation, materials used in fission and fusion reactors will internally accumulate numerous lattice defects and bubbles. With extensive studies focused on bubble resolution under irradiation, the mutually effects between helium bubbles and displacement cascades in irradiated materials remain unaddressed. Therefore, the defects production and microstructure evolution under self-irradiation events in vicinity of helium bubbles are investigated by preforming large scale molecular dynamics simulations in single- crystal copper. When subjected to displacement cascades, distinguished bubble resolution categories dependent on bubble size are observed. With the existence of bubbles, radiation damage is aggravated with the increasing bubble size, represented as the promotion of point defects and dislocations. The atomic mechanisms of heterogeneous dislocation structures are attributed to different helium-vacancy cluster modes, transforming from the resolved gas trapped with vacancies to the biased absorption of vacancies by the over-pressured bubble. In both cases, helium impedes the recombination of point defects, leading to the accelerated formation of interstitial loops. The results and insight obtained here might contribute to understand the underlying mechanism of transmutant solute on the long-term evolution of irradiated materials. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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