Atomistic-object kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of irradiation damage in tungsten
DR Mason and AE Sand and SL Dudarev, MODELLING AND SIMULATION IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, 27, 055003 (2019).
We describe the development of a new object kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) code where the elementary defect objects are off-lattice atomistic configurations. Atomic-level transitions are used to transform and translate objects, to split objects and to merge them together. This gradually constructs a database of atomic configurations-a set of relevant defect objects and their possible events generated on-the-fly. Elastic interactions are handled within objects with empirical potentials at short distances, and between spatially distinct objects using the dipole tensor formalism. The model is shown to evolve mobile interstitial clusters in tungsten faster than an equivalent molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, even at elevated temperatures. We apply the model to the evolution of complex defects generated using MD simulations of primary radiation damage in tungsten. We show that we can evolve defect structures formed in cascade simulations to experimentally observable timescales of seconds while retaining atomistic detail. We conclude that the first few nanoseconds of simulation following cascade initiation would be better performed using MD, as this will capture some of the near-temperature-independent evolution of small highly-mobile interstitial clusters. For the 20keV cascade annealing simulations considered here, we observe internal relaxations of sessile objects. These relaxations would be difficult to capture using conventional object kMC, yet are important as they establish the conditions for long timescale evolution.
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