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Title: Radiation tolerance of nanocrystalline ceramics: Insights from yttria stabilized zirconia

Materials for applications in hostile environments, such as nuclear reactors or radioactive waste immobilization, require extremely high resistance to radiation damage, such as resistance to amorphization or volume swelling. Nanocrystalline materials have been reported to present exceptionally high radiation-tolerance to amorphization. In principle, grain boundaries that are prevalent in nanomaterials could act as sinks for point-defects, enhancing defect recombination. In this paper we present evidence for this mechanism in nanograined Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (YSZ), associated with the observation that the concentration of defects after irradiation using heavy ions (Kr⁺, 400 keV) is inversely proportional to the grain size. HAADF images suggest the short migration distances in nanograined YSZ allow radiation induced interstitials to reach the grain boundaries on the irradiation time scale, leaving behind only vacancy clusters distributed within the grain. Because of the relatively low temperature of the irradiations and the fact that interstitials diffuse thermally more slowly than vacancies, this result indicates that the interstitials must reach the boundaries directly in the collision cascade, consistent with previous simulation results. Concomitant radiation-induced grain growth was observed which, as a consequence of the non-uniform implantation, caused cracking of the nano-samples induced by local stresses at the irradiated/non-irradiated interfaces.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322; srep07746
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States