Self-learning kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of Al diffusion in Mg

G Nandipati and N Govind and A Andersen and A Rohatgi, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS-CONDENSED MATTER, 28, 155001 (2016).

DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/28/15/155001

Vacancy-mediated diffusion of an Al atom in the pure Mg matrix is studied using the atomistic, on-lattice self-learning kinetic Monte Carlo (SLKMC) method. Activation barriers for vacancy-Mg and vacancy-Al atom exchange processes are calculated on the fly using the climbing image nudged-elastic-band method and binary Mg-Al modified embedded-atom method interatomic potential. Diffusivities of an Al atom obtained from SLKMC simulations show the same behavior as observed in experimental and theoretical studies available in the literature; that is, an Al atom diffuses faster within the basal plane than along the c-axis. Although the effective activation barriers for an Al atom diffusion from SLKMC simulations are close to experimental and theoretical values, the effective prefactors are lower than those obtained from experiments. We present all the possible vacancy-Mg and vacancy-Al atom exchange processes and their activation barriers identified in SLKMC simulations. A simple mapping scheme to map an HCP lattice onto a simple cubic lattice is described, which enables simulation of the HCP lattice using the on-lattice framework. We also present the pattern recognition scheme which is used in SLKMC simulations to identify the local Al atom configuration around a vacancy.

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