Evolution of nanoscale interstitial dislocation loops under coupling effect of stress and temperature
The properties of nano-scale interstitial dislocation loops under the coupling effect of stress and temperature are studied using atomistic simulation methods and experiments. The decomposition of a loop by the emission of smaller loops is identified as one of the major mechanisms to release the localized stress induced by the coupling effect, which is validated by the TEM observations. The classical conservation law of Burgers vector cannot be applied during such decomposition process. The dislocation network is formed from the decomposed loops, which may initiate the irradiation creep much earlier than expected through the mechanism of climb-controlled glide of dislocations.