Atomistic modeling of thermo-mechanical properties of cubic SiC

B Szpunar and L Malakkal and J Rahman and JA Szpunar, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY, 101, 4753-4762 (2018).

DOI: 10.1111/jace.15712

SiC is an important multifunctional material with application in electronics and as a structural material. Many investigations of SiC have been done using both classical molecular dynamics and first principles methods. However, they are of limited scope and, in particular, SiC properties at finite temperatures have not been adequately evaluated. The good mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties of SiC such as high stiffness, high hardness, high mechanical strength at high temperature, and high thermal conductivity, make SiC a candidate for various applications in nuclear industries. In this work, we evaluated thermomechanical properties at finite temperatures obtained by LAMMPS code with traditionally used Tersoff potential (TR89 with PRB 41 correction), and the newer GW 2002 (GW02) potential. We compared them with the calculations made using MEAM 1995 (MEAM 95) and with our first principles DFT predictions. It is demonstrated that the thermal expansion and mechanical properties calculated as a function of temperature for classical potentials TR89 and GW02 do not agree well with first principles calculations while better agreement is found for the MEAM95 potential. Classical molecular dynamics calculations made with the use of two earlier potentials under-predict thermal conductivity by one order of magnitude for the TR89 potential and by more than 30% for the GW02.

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