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Title: Grain growth of nanocrystalline 3C-SiC under Au ion irradiation at elevated temperatures

Nanocrystalline silicon carbide (SiC) represents an excellent model system for a fundamental study of interfacial (grain boundary) processes under nuclear radiation, which are critical to the understanding of the response of nanostructured materials to high-dose irradiation. This study reports on a comparison of irradiation effects in cubic phase SiC (3C-SiC) grains of a few nanometers in size and single-crystal 3C-SiC films under identical Au ion irradiation to a range of doses at 700 K. In contrast to the latter, in which lattice disorder is accumulated to a saturation level without full amorphization, the average grain size of the former increases with dose following a power-law trend. In addition to coalescence, the grain grows through atomic jumps and mass transport, where irradiation induced vacancies at grain boundaries assist the processes. It is found that a higher irradiation temperature leads to slower grain growth and a faster approach to a saturation size of SiC nanograins. The results could potentially have a positive impact on structural components of advanced nuclear energy systems.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
49138; 44713; 48707; AT2030110
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Physics D. Applied Physics, 49(3):035304
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Grain growth; nanocrystalline SiC; ion irradiation; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory