Characterizing single isolated radiation-damage events from molecular dynamics via virtual diffraction methods

JA Stewart and G Brookman and P Price and M Franco and W Ji and K Hattar and R Dingreville, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 123, 165902 (2018).

DOI: 10.1063/1.5022471

The evolution and characterization of single-isolated-ion-strikes are investigated by combining atomistic simulations with selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns generated from these simulations. Five molecular dynamics simulations are performed for a single 20 keV primary knock-on atom in bulk crystalline Si. The resulting cascade damage is characterized in two complementary ways. First, the individual cascade events are conventionally quantified through the evolution of the number of defects and the atomic (volumetric) strain associated with these defect structures. These results show that (i) the radiation damage produced is consistent with the Norgett, Robinson, and Torrens model of damage production and (ii) there is a net positive volumetric strain associated with the cascade structures. Second, virtual SAED patterns are generated for the resulting cascade-damaged structures along several zone axes. The analysis of the corresponding diffraction patterns shows the SAED spots approximately doubling in size, on average, due to broadening induced by the defect structures. Furthermore, the SAED spots are observed to exhibit an average radial outward shift between 0.33% and 0.87% depending on the zone axis. This characterization approach, as utilized here, is a preliminary investigation in developing methodologies and opportunities to link experimental observations with atomistic simulations to elucidate microstructural damage states. Published by AIP Publishing.

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