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Title: Preliminary Phase Field Computational Model Development

This interim report presents progress towards the development of meso-scale models of magnetic behavior that incorporate microstructural information. Modeling magnetic signatures in irradiated materials with complex microstructures (such as structural steels) is a significant challenge. The complexity is addressed incrementally, using the monocrystalline Fe (i.e., ferrite) film as model systems to develop and validate initial models, followed by polycrystalline Fe films, and by more complicated and representative alloys. In addition, the modeling incrementally addresses inclusion of other major phases (e.g., martensite, austenite), minor magnetic phases (e.g., carbides, FeCr precipitates), and minor nonmagnetic phases (e.g., Cu precipitates, voids). The focus of the magnetic modeling is on phase-field models. The models are based on the numerical solution to the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation. From the computational standpoint, phase-field modeling allows the simulation of large enough systems that relevant defect structures and their effects on functional properties like magnetism can be simulated. To date, two phase-field models have been generated in support of this work. First, a bulk iron model with periodic boundary conditions was generated as a proof-of-concept to investigate major loop effects of single versus polycrystalline bulk iron and effects of single non-magnetic defects. More recently, to support the experimental program herein usingmore » iron thin films, a new model was generated that uses finite boundary conditions representing surfaces and edges. This model has provided key insights into the domain structures observed in magnetic force microscopy (MFM) measurements. Simulation results for single crystal thin-film iron indicate the feasibility of the model for determining magnetic domain wall thickness and mobility in an externally applied field. Because the phase-field model dimensions are limited relative to the size of most specimens used in experiments, special experimental methods were devised to create similar boundary conditions in the iron films. Preliminary MFM studies conducted on single and polycrystalline iron films with small sub-areas created with focused ion beam have correlated quite well qualitatively with phase-field simulations. However, phase-field model dimensions are still small relative to experiments thus far. We are in the process of increasing the size of the models and decreasing specimen size so both have identical dimensions. Ongoing research is focused on validation of the phase-field model. Validation is being accomplished through comparison with experimentally obtained MFM images (in progress), and planned measurements of major hysteresis loops and first order reversal curves. Extrapolation of simulation sizes to represent a more stochastic bulk-like system will require sampling of various simulations (i.e., with single non-magnetic defect, single magnetic defect, single grain boundary, single dislocation, etc.) with distributions of input parameters. These outputs can then be compared to laboratory magnetic measurements and ultimately to simulate magnetic Barkhausen noise signals.« less
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  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
48571; NT0104000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
radiation damage, phase field models, micro-magnetic measurements; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory