Browsing by Subject "radiation damage"

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  • Mason, D. R.; Sand, A. E.; Dudarev, S. L. (2019)
    We describe the development of a new object kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) code where the elementary defect objects are off-lattice atomistic configurations. Atomic-level transitions are used to transform and translate objects, to split objects and to merge them together. This gradually constructs a database of atomic configurations-a set of relevant defect objects and their possible events generated on-the-fly. Elastic interactions are handled within objects with empirical potentials at short distances, and between spatially distinct objects using the dipole tensor formalism. The model is shown to evolve mobile interstitial clusters in tungsten faster than an equivalent molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, even at elevated temperatures. We apply the model to the evolution of complex defects generated using MD simulations of primary radiation damage in tungsten. We show that we can evolve defect structures formed in cascade simulations to experimentally observable timescales of seconds while retaining atomistic detail. We conclude that the first few nanoseconds of simulation following cascade initiation would be better performed using MD, as this will capture some of the near-temperature-independent evolution of small highly-mobile interstitial clusters. For the 20keV cascade annealing simulations considered here, we observe internal relaxations of sessile objects. These relaxations would be difficult to capture using conventional object kMC, yet are important as they establish the conditions for long timescale evolution.
  • Sand, A. E.; Mason, D. R.; De Backer, A.; Yi, X.; Dudarev, S. L.; Nordlund, K. (2017)
    The sizes of defect clusters, produced in materials by energetic ion or neutron impacts, are critically important input for models describing microstructural evolution of irradiated materials. We propose a model for the distribution of sizes of vacancy and self-interstitial defect clusters formed by high-energy impacts in tungsten, and provide new data from in situ ion irradiation experiments to validate the model. The model predicts the statistics of sub-cascade splitting and the resulting distribution of primary defects extending over the entire range of cluster sizes, and is able to provide initial conditions for quantitative multi-scale simulations of microstructural evolution. [GRAPHICS] .
  • Bower, William R.; Pearce, Carolyn I.; Smith, Andrew D.; Pimblott, Simon. M.; Mosselmans, J. Frederick W.; Pattrick, Richard A. D. (2019)
    A detailed understanding of the mechanisms and effects of radiation damage in phyllosilicate minerals is a necessary component of the evaluation of the safety case for a deep geological disposal facility (GDF) for radioactive waste. Structural and chemical changes induced by alpha-particle damage will affect the performance of these minerals as reactive barrier materials (both in the near and far-field) over time scales relevant to GDF integrity. In this study, two examples of chlorite group minerals have been irradiated at a-particle doses comparable to those predicted to be experienced by the clay buffer material surrounding high-level radioactive waste canisters. Crystallographic aberrations induced by the focused He-4(2+) ion beam are revealed via high-resolution, microfocus X-ray diffraction mapping. Interlayer collapse by up to 0.5 angstrom is prevalent across both macrocrystalline and microcrystalline samples, with the macrocrystalline specimen displaying a breakdown of the phyllosilicate structure into loosely connected, multioriented crystallites displaying variable lattice parameters. The damaged lattice parameters suggest a localized breakdown and collapse of the OH(- )rich, "brucite-like" interlayer. Microfocus Fe K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy illustrates this defect accumulation, manifest as a severe damping of the X-ray absorption edge. Subtle Fe2+/Fe3+ speciation changes are apparent across the damaged structures. A trend toward Fe reduction is evident at depth in the damaged structures at certain doses (8.76 X 10(15) alpha particles/cm(2)). Interestingly, this reductive trend does not increase with radiation dose; indeed, at the maximum dose (1.26 x 10(16) alpha particles/cm(2)) administered in this study, there is evidence for a slight increase in Fe binding energy, suggesting the development of a depth-dependent redox gradient concurrent with light ion damage. At the doses examined here, these damaged structures are likely highly reactive, as sorption capacity will, to an extent, be largely enhanced by lattice disruption and an increase in available "edge" sites.
  • Fellman, A.; Sand, A. E.; Byggmästar, Jesper; Nordlund, Kai (2019)
    We have performed a systematic molecular dynamics investigation of the effects of overlap of collision cascades in tungsten with pre-existing vacancy-type defects. In particular, we focus on the implications for fusion neutron irradiated tungsten in relation to comparisons with damage production under ion irradiation conditions. We find that overlap of a cascade with a vacancy-type defect decreases the number of new defects with roughly the same functional dependence as previously shown for interstitial clusters. We further find that different mechanisms govern the formation of dislocation loops, resulting in different Burgers vectors, depending on the degree of overlap between the cascade and the defect. Furthermore, we show that overlapping cascades consistently decrease the size of the pre-existing defect. We also observe void-induced cascade splitting at energies far below the subcascade splitting threshold in tungsten. The impact of these mechanisms on radiation damage accumulation and dose rate effects are discussed.