Shockwave generates < 100 > dislocation loops in bcc iron

Q Peng and FJ Meng and YZ Yang and CY Lu and HQ Deng and LM Wang and S De and F Gao, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 9, 4880 (2018).

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07102-3

The formation mechanism of < 100 > interstitial dislocation loops in ferritic steels stemming from irradiation remains elusive, as their formations are either too short for experiments, or too long for molecular dynamics simulations. Here, we report on the formation of both interstitial and vacancy dislocation loops in high energy displacement cascades using largescale molecular dynamics simulations with up to 220 million atoms. Riding the supersonic shockwave generated in the cascade, self-interstitial atoms are punched out to form < 100 > dislocation loops in only a few picoseconds during one single cascade event, which is several orders of magnitude faster than any existing mechanisms. The energy analysis suggests that the formation of the interstitial loops depends on kinetic energy redistribution, where higher incidence energy or larger atom mass could improve the probability of the direct nucleation of interstitial dislocation loops.

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