Features of primary damage by high energy displacement cascades in concentrated Ni-based alloys

LK Beland and CY Lu and YN Osetskiy and GD Samolyuk and A Caro and LM Wang and RE Stoller, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 119, 085901 (2016).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4942533

Alloying of Ni with Fe or Co has been shown to reduce primary damage production under ion irradiation. Similar results have been obtained from classical molecular dynamics simulations of 1, 10, 20, and 40 keV collision cascades in Ni, NiFe, and NiCo. In all cases, a mix of imperfect stacking fault tetrahedra, faulted loops with a 1/3 111 Burgers vector, and glissile interstitial loops with a 1/2 110 Burgers vector were formed, along with small sessile point defect complexes and clusters. Primary damage reduction occurs by three mechanisms. First, Ni-Co, Ni-Fe, Co-Co, and Fe-Fe short-distance repulsive interactions are stiffer than Ni-Ni interactions, which lead to a decrease in damage formation during the transition from the supersonic ballistic regime to the sonic regime. This largely controls final defect production. Second, alloying decreases thermal conductivity, leading to a longer thermal spike lifetime. The associated annealing reduces final damage production. These two mechanisms are especially important at cascades energies less than 40 keV. Third, at the higher energies, the production of large defect clusters by subcascades is inhibited in the alloys. A number of challenges and limitations pertaining to predictive atomistic modeling of alloys under high-energy particle irradiation are discussed. (C) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.

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