Ab initio calculations of grain boundaries in bcc metals

D Scheiber and R Pippan and P Puschnig and L Romaner, MODELLING AND SIMULATION IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, 24, 035013 (2016).

DOI: 10.1088/0965-0393/24/3/035013

In this study, we compute grain boundary (GB) properties for a large set of GBs in bcc transition metals with a special focus on W, Mo and Fe using ab initio density functional theory (DFT) and semi-empirical second nearest neighbour modified embedded atom method (2NN-MEAM) potentials. The GB properties include GB energies, surface energies, GB excess volume and work of separation, which we analyse and then compare to experimental data. We find that the used 2NN-MEAM potentials can predict general trends of GB properties, but do not always reproduce the GB ground state structure and energy found with DFT. In particular, our results explain the experimental finding that W and Mo prefer intergranular fracture, while other bcc metals prefer transgranular cleavage.

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