Atomistic investigation of Cr influence on primary radiation damage in Fe-12 at.% Cr grain boundaries

A Esfandiarpour and SAH Feghhi and A Arjhangmehr, MODELLING AND SIMULATION IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, 24, 065008 (2016).

DOI: 10.1088/0965-0393/24/6/065008

In this paper, we investigate the influence of Cr on the primary radiation damage in Fe-12 at.% Cr with different atomic grain boundaries (GBs). Four different GB structures, two twists and two symmetric tilt boundaries are selected as the model structures. The primary radiation damage near each GB in alpha-Fe and Fe-12 at.% Cr is simulated using Molecular Dynamics for 9 keV primary knock-on atoms with velocity vectors perpendicular to the GB plane. In agreement with previous works, the results indicate that the atomic GBs are biased toward interstitials and due to the reduction of 'in-cascade' interstitial-vacancy annihilation rates, vacancies accumulate in the bulk grains. The minimum defect production occurs when the overlap between cascade center and GB plane is maximum; in contrast, the number of residual defects in the bulk (vacancies and interstitials) increases when the overlap decreases. Moreover, we find that the presence of Cr hardly affects the number of residual defects in the grain interiors, and causes a Cr-enrichment in the surviving self-interstitial atoms in bulk during relaxation of the primary cascades-also in agreement with previous studies. Further, in order to study the effect of 12 at.% Cr on the energetic and kinetic properties of vacancies near the atomic GBs, we calculate formation energies and diffusion barriers of defects using Molecular Static and climbing-Nudged Elastic Band methods. The results reveal that the vacancies energetically and kinetically tend to form and cluster around the GB plane due to the substantial reduction of their formation energies and migration barriers in layers close to the GB center and are immobile on the simulated time frame (similar to ps).

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