Orientation sensitivity of focused ion beam damage in pure zirconium: direct experimental observations and molecular dynamics simulations

AK Revelly and N Srinivasan and AS Panwar and KVM Krishna and R Tewari and D Srivastava and GK Dey and I Samajdar, PHILOSOPHICAL MAGAZINE, 94, 1601-1621 (2014).

DOI: 10.1080/14786435.2014.892220

A high-purity predominantly single crystalline zirconium was subjected to controlled focused ion beam (FIB) damage. Damage estimates were obtained from electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) and nano- indentation measurements on exactly the same area/orientation. The damage kinetics, between different crystallographic orientations, differed by one order of magnitude and a clear hierarchy of orientation sensitive ion damage emerged. Use of a simple geometric approach, linear density of atoms and corresponding scattering cross-sections to impinging gallium ions, could differentiate between extreme damage kinetics; but failed when such differences were relatively minor. Numerically intensive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, on the other hand, were more effective. However, MD simulations or direct EBSD observations failed to justify anisotropic irradiation hardening (AIH): 3-8 times more hardening for near basal. Though explanation for AIH is indirect, evidence and rationalization for orientation-sensitive radiation damage appears clear and statistically reproducible.

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