Effect of grain boundary misorientation on the apparent diffusivity in nanocrystalline aluminum by atomistic simulation study

R Mohammadzadeh and M Mohammadzadeh, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 124, 035102 (2018).

DOI: 10.1063/1.5033860

To obtain a fundamental understanding of the effect of structure and geometry of grain boundary on the diffusion kinetics in nanocrystalline materials, the influence of grain boundary misorientation on the effective diffusion coefficient (apparent diffusivity) in nanocrystalline aluminum was investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. Nine series of 001 symmetric tilt grain boundaries, including high and low symmetric boundary planes, were studied. The apparent diffusivity in the samples was calculated in the temperature range from 423 K to 823 K by monitoring the mean square displacement of atoms as a function of simulation time. A temperature dependence of the effective diffusion coefficient according to the Arrhenius law was obtained for all samples. It is found that the apparent diffusivity is anisotropic and it is a strong function of grain boundary misorientation at low and high temperatures. At all temperatures, Sigma 29 001/(520) symmetric tilt grain boundary with misorientation angle of 43.68 degrees exhibits the highest effective diffusion coefficient among the investigated grain boundaries. The simulation results show that the activation energy and pre-exponential factor are affected significantly by the grain boundary misorientation angle. Moreover, the results indicated that the misorientation dependence of activation energy for diffusion exhibits two local maxima, which correspond to two symmetric tilt grain boundaries. Additional calculation of misorientation dependence of the pre-exponential factor shows two local minima at the same symmetric tilt grain boundaries. The misorientation dependence of the effective diffusion coefficient was explained on the basis of grain boundary energy and the crystallographic structure of grain boundary. Published by AIP Publishing.

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