Influence of chemical disorder on energy dissipation and defect evolution in concentrated solid solution alloys

YW Zhang and GM Stocks and K Jin and CY Lu and HB Bei and BC Sales and LM Wang and LK Beland and RE Stoller and GD Samolyuk and M Caro and A Caro and WJ Weber, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 6, 8736 (2015).

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9736

A grand challenge in materials research is to understand complex electronic correlation and non-equilibrium atomic interactions, and how such intrinsic properties and dynamic processes affect energy transfer and defect evolution in irradiated materials. Here we report that chemical disorder, with an increasing number of principal elements and/or altered concentrations of specific elements, in single-phase concentrated solid solution alloys can lead to substantial reduction in electron mean free path and orders of magnitude decrease in electrical and thermal conductivity. The subsequently slow energy dissipation affects defect dynamics at the early stages, and consequentially may result in less deleterious defects. Suppressed damage accumulation with increasing chemical disorder from pure nickel to binary and to more complex quaternary solid solutions is observed. Understanding and controlling energy dissipation and defect dynamics by altering alloy complexity may pave the way for new design principles of radiation- tolerant structural alloys for energy applications.

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